Thursday, September 29, 2022

Civil liberties group takes Trudeau govt to court over Emergencies Act

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The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), a non-profit organization, initiated legal proceedings against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau government over its decision to invoke the Emergencies Act following mass protests against mandatory vaccinations, according to CCLA representatives, who held a presser on Thursday.

“The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has spoken out loudly against this declaration and today we have our own announcement: We are taking the government of Canada to court,” a CCLA spokesperson said at the presser, aired on CTV News, reported Sputnik News Agency.

The non-profit organization advocates for civil liberties and constitutional rights and has slammed the Trudeau government to invoke an emergency, which should have been done only in an event “seriously threatening the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada”. Additionally, they also stated that the government should have only enacted the Emergency Act when the situation “cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.”

Earlier, Interim Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell also said that “imminent” action against the participants in the so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest will be taken. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in 50 years to give the federal government extra powers to handle the ongoing truckers blockades and protests against the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The state of emergency will last for 30 days, reported the News Agency.

At a news conference on Parliament Hill, Trudeau said, “It is now clear that there are serious challenges to law enforcement’s ability to effectively enforce the law.” Trudeau said the measures will be geographically targeted and “reasonable and proportionate to the threats they are meant to address.”

The unprecedented deployment of the Emergencies Act gives police more tools to restore order in places where public assemblies constitute illegal and dangerous activities, such as blockades and occupations, he said. The Emergencies Act, which replaced the War Measures Act in the 1980s, defines a national emergency as a temporary “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it.”

The wave of protests across Canada began in January, with thousands of truckers and hundreds of other demonstrators converging on Ottawa to express strong opposition to vaccine mandates for truckers crossing the US-Canada border. Protesters demanded that the authorities remove COVID-19 restrictions.

The protest has since evolved into an anti-government demonstration, with various groups uniting in opposition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and calling for the overthrow of the government.

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