The Canadian PM’s handling of anti-Covid-mandate protests could normalize “emergency legislation,” a civil rights group says
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has responded to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act to combat the “Freedom Convoy,”They expressed concern over the way the government dealt with protestors against the mandate in different parts of the country on Tuesday.
According to civil rights groups, there are: “high and clear”The Emergencies Act’s standard hasn’t been applied. Trudeau, however, announced that he would use the Emergencies Act to increase the law enforcement’s resources to combat the blockades created by protesting truckers, their supporters, at the border and in large cities.
The “Freedom Convoy”Protestors have taken to the streets across the United States against Covid-19 mandates. Truckers started the protests against a Canadian mandate that required people to cross into Canada for quarantine. Trudeau described them as “a growing group of people.” “not a peaceful protest.”These demonstrations will be “disrupting the lives of too many Canadians,”On Monday, he made the announcement in reference to “illegal blockades” “occupations”At border crossings and in large cities.
Invocation of The Emergencies Act “about keeping Canadians safe, protecting people’s jobs, and restoring confidence” in the country’s institutions, he claimed.
But, Canadian Civil Liberties Association disagreed.
“This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the Act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met,” the group tweeted in a thread responding to Trudeau’s announcement.
Governments deal regularly with complicated situations using the power granted by democratically elected members. Not all emergency legislation should be accepted. This is a threat to our democracy, and civil liberties. #cdnpoli
— Canadian Civil Liberties Association (@cancivlib) February 15, 2022
Only when the situation can’t be handled by effective means, Emergencies Act powers are available. “any other law of Canada,” and the group believes blockades by truckers and protesters have not caused enough disruption to justify the government’s response.
“Emergency legislation should not be normalized. It threatens our democracy and our civil liberties,”They tweeted.
Canada’s Emergencies Act has never been invoked before. The legislation expands law enforcement’s authority and broadens government powers to deal with protestors. Some locations will be identified “critical areas” where protesters must avoid, and it also gives the government’s financial intelligence agency FinTrac additional authority over things like crypto transactions and online fundraising.
Police officers will now have new power. “more tools to restore order where public assemblies can constitute illegal and dangerous activities, such as blockades and occupations as seen in Ottawa, the Ambassador Bridge, and elsewhere,” Trudeau said.