Emergency Measures Act | No police request

(Ottawa) Neither Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland nor Secretary of State for Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair have received a request from law enforcement to refer to the Emergency Response Act to end the “freedom convoy” in February. Their statements contradict those of the Minister of Public Security, Marco Mendicino, and confirm those of the police forces.

Updated yesterday at 10:51pm.

Mylene Crete

Mylene Crete
The press

Conservatives are calling for his resignation over ‘misleading Canadians’. He said in April police had urged the government to invoke the law. He then testified before a joint House of Commons and Senate committee to determine whether the government was right to acquire extraordinary powers to end the demonstrations. Rather, he says today that he consulted the police.

That Emergency Response Act had never been invoked as a substitute for the since it was adopted in 1988 War Measures Act. Conservative Senator Claude Carignan asked Ms.me Freeland, then to Mr Blair. The two ministers testified extensively before this committee on Tuesday evening.

“Did you call them?” Emergency Response Act on the advice of law enforcement,” the Quebec senator asked the deputy prime minister.

“I haven’t personally received advice like this,” she admitted.

She later said she did not recall discussing a law enforcement request with the Secretary of Public Safety in response to questions from the senator. “I personally don’t recall any such discussion,” she said.

“Have you seen a consultation? [des forces de l’ordre] to ask Emergency Response ActSenator Carignan asked Mr Blair again.

“No sir, frankly I would have been quite surprised if the police had actually made such a policy recommendation or requested such legislative power,” he replied. In my conversations with law enforcement—and I’ve had some with them directly—questions have been raised about the challenges they face. »

Hundreds of trucks paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks in January and February, forcing the closure of several stores and the Rideau Mall. Others had blocked the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, and the border crossings at Coutts in Alberta and Emerson in Manitoba.

Police forces were quickly overwhelmed by the scale of these protests against compulsory vaccination and other public health measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Appeal Decision Emergency Response Act was a “collective decision”, admitted Mme Free country.

“We did the right thing,” she said.

His statement sparked several heated arguments. Conservative, Bloc and New Democrat elected officials grew impatient with his evasive answers. Conversely, they congratulated his colleague Bill Blair on his openness.

Mme Freeland avoided answering several questions about the discussions surrounding the use of the Emergency Response Actand pointed out that she testified as finance minister, although she also wears a deputy prime minister’s hat.

Neither she nor Secretary Blair agreed to provide notes taken during the briefings they attended. “I don’t take notes at these meetings,” said the civil defense minister, careful to ensure that the information was confidential. His staff don’t take notes, he added, to the disbelief of NDP MP Matthew Green.

The opposition parties want the government to break cabinet secrecy in order to gain access to documents that could help understand why the government believed this Emergency Response Act was the only way to end the protests.

Senator Carignan argued that the decision came hours after police successfully cleared the Ambassador Bridge, casting doubt on the historical application of that legislation. “It took seven days to dismantle that bridge and there were indications that protesters wanted to return there,” said Bill Blair.

Lockdowns and protests have cost Canada’s economy millions, the finance minister stressed.

The state of emergency was in effect from February 14th to 23rd. Among other things, it allowed financial institutions to freeze protesters’ bank accounts without judicial review and police to seize tractor-trailers to evict trucks from downtown Ottawa’s streets.

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