The Son (Justin Trudeau)

A Canadian Post

Not to be outdone by his father, Pierre, Justin Trudeau has evoked the Emergencies Act over the truckers strike. The Emergencies Act replaced the War Measures Act in 1988 under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Parliament was supposed to debate this action, but that effort was cancelled. (Parliament may revoke a declaration of a public order emergency under the Act.)

According to the Civil Liberties Association, it “plans to sue the federal government over its decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to ongoing protests and blockades. Emergency powers cannot and must not be normalized” said CCLA executive director Noa Mendelsohn Avive.

She said use of the act seriously infringes on the Charter Rights of Canadians.

Today’s Financial Post includes an article entitled Banks get Ottawa protesters’ names as financial crackdown gets underway. The article says “Canada’s national police service is sending to banks the names of people involved in protests that have paralyzed the nation’s capital, a first concrete step in the financial crackdown on demonstrators.

“The Canadian Bankers Association confirmed the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has provided a list to the banks. The banks are still seeking clarity from law enforcement on how to handle the alleged protesters’ accounts, according to people familiar with the matter. But Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said some accounts have already been frozen.

“…The emergency orders require virtually every participant in the Canadian financial system — banks, investment firms, credit unions, loan companies, securities dealers, fundraising platforms and payment and clearing services — to determine whether they possess or control property of a person who is attending an illegal protest or providing supplies to demonstrators.”

Between Pierre’s imposing use of the War Measures Act and Justin’s heavy-handed use of the Emergencies Act, Canada hasn’t seen such losses of liberty since conscription in World War I when Sir Robert Borden was Prime Minister and World War II when William Lyon MacKenzie King had the job. Of course, in the latter two leaders cases, the very existence of freedom in Canada was at stake.

Postscript (February 21, 2022): According to the National Post, “the motion to confirm the declaration of emergency passed 185-151, with the New Democrats voting in favour alongside the minority Liberal government.”

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