Government arguments to invoke Emergencies Act fail

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The only real question the Emergencies Act inquiry must answer is whether the use of the Act was justified. So far, from what we’ve heard, including RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, the answer is no.

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The Emergencies Act is meant to be legislation of last resort, invoked only when no other existing law will do. It is also meant to be for « an emergency that arises from threats to the security of Canada and is so serious that it is a national emergency. »

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What we keep hearing in the survey does not fit this definition.

Last week Supt. Patrick Morris, head of the OPP’s intelligence unit, said when it came to Ottawa he had never seen a national security threat, which his colleagues in other agencies were. Okay.

« I’ve talked about it with colleagues in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and with the Integrative National Security Team, and they haven’t seen things that hit their threshold in terms of what would be considered a threat. for the security of Canada, » Morris said. .

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At various points in his testimony, Morris admitted the border blockades were seen as ‘potential’ threats to national security because of the economic damage they were causing, but Windsor, the largest border blockade, was lifted two days before invoking the Emergency Measures Act.

Morris and other OPP officers who testified indicated that the Emergencies Act was not necessary to clean up the streets of Ottawa and that at the time it was invoked, a plan was already in place and proceeded as planned before the law. Senior officers from the Ottawa Police Service made similar comments – that while they agreed with the law being invoked, they didn’t need it.

Perhaps the most telling piece of evidence is the email sent by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki on February 14, 2022 to Mike Jones, the chief of staff for Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.

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“I am of the opinion that we have not yet exhausted all the available tools that are already available thanks to the existing legislation,” Lucki said just after midnight.

This is the top police officer in the land saying we have existing tools that we can still use, which means that by law the Emergencies Act should not be invoked.

“There are instances where charges could be laid under the existing authority for various Criminal Code offenses that are currently occurring in the context of the protest. Ontario’s recently enacted Provincial Emergencies Act will also help provide additional deterrent tools to our existing toolbox,” said Lucki.

About 16 hours later, the government invoked the law that suspended civil liberties, gave police extraordinary powers and authorized the government to freeze the bank accounts of ordinary citizens for protesting. Even if you did not support the convoy or simply felt that it stayed too long in Ottawa, these are extraordinary powers that the government can grant itself.

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The nation’s top police officer said he didn’t need the law and other senior police officers said there was no threat to national security posed by the protests. Ottawa and that the existing laws were sufficient to deal with it.

That’s all that really matters and the finger pointing and shifting of blame by politicians is nothing but noise in the background.

The investigation, so far, is not going as the Trudeau Liberals had hoped, which is why they are whispering to some reporters that Judge Paul Rouleau, the judge in charge of the investigation, could justify the use of the law based on a dysfunction in the police force.

This is no ground for invoking the act found in the law and – like so many others in this investigation – is nothing more than a political twist.

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