Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to publicly justify invoking the Emergencies Act to stop the Freedom Custom protest in Ottawa last winter.
The freedom protests were a reaction against Trudeau’s mandate of the Covid-19 vaccination.
The protests quickly grew more extensive than expected as businesses in Ottawa were shut down and protesters blocked border crossings connecting several cities.
You can be against the Freedom Convoy and also be against the Emergencies Act. The debate is not about whether the convoy was good or bad, but whether it constituted a threat to the security of Canada rising to the level of a national emergency, as defined by the law.
— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) November 16, 2022
Why Did Trudeau Go Full Tyrant?
Trudeau’s cabinet eventually invoked the Act on the 14th of February, 2022, and revoked it after nine days. Hundreds of bank accounts were frozen during this period, and protesters were arrested. Public assemblies were also banned, and the border blockages ended.
The Emergencies Act, created about 40 years ago, was set to deal with emergencies considered a security threat to Canada and could not be handled effectively under Canadian laws. Members of the opposition parties have referred to Trudeau’s invocation of the Act as an “unprecedented sledgehammer,” and many citizens also share the same opinion.
According to the Act’s requirements, the government invoking it has to explain the reason behind such decisions to the citizens. This explanation also has to come in the form of an inquiry and a report no more than 360 after revocation.
Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet Expected To Testify This Week
The inquiry into Trudeau’s cabinet’s actions began on the 13th of October and is expected to be concluded next week. The prime minister and members of his cabinet are expected to give the anticipated testimony that explains and justifies the reasons behind such actions.
According to documents presented to the commission as evidence, David Vigneault, the Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS, Canada’s equivalent of the CIA), had urged Trudeau’s cabinet against invoking the Act.
The document clearly stated that the CSIS had informed the government that the Freedom protest in no way threatened Canada’s security.
Furthermore, the agency presented another document that warned that invoking the Emergency act would do more harm than good as it could “galvanize the anti-government narratives.”
Several other pieces of evidence, including testimonies from police agencies and some senior government officials, were presented to show that Trudeau’s cabinet was warned against this decision and that there were reservations from many officials.
It’s now beyond obvious: The Liberal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act is completely indefensible. pic.twitter.com/6PI10f2Jur
— Spencer Fernando 🇨🇦 (@SpencerFernando) November 18, 2022
This Was a Crime
In addition, the law clearly stated that the Emergencies Act should only be used in situations that could not be controlled effectively under the law. Yet, Brenda Lucki, the RCMP Commissioner, testified that she had informed the government that they still had other options to combat the situation under the law.
The inquiry commission was created to find facts regarding Trudeau’s cabinet’s decision to invoke the Act and decide whether the action was indeed justified. Regardless, it is not certain what the consequences of his actions would be if the commission finds them unjust, as the commission’s duty only ends in finding the facts.
In the inquiry’s final week, the prime minister and members of his cabinet are expected to justify their reasons for going against the advice of the national security agencies and law enforcement agencies before the commission. The Prime Minister is expected to be the last witness of this inquiry, and his testimony will presumably be received on Friday.