Canadian Civil Liberties Association Takes Canadian Government to Court over Emergencies Act
Large numbers of police are moving in on protesters in downtown Ottawa and making arrests — including high profile organisers Tamara Lich, Chris Barber and Pat King — during an intense clash with the Freedom Convoy demonstrators who have so far refused to leave the area.
Ottawa police say they have made 70 arrests as of Friday (Feb 18) afternoon and towed at least 21 vehicles, reports CTV News.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is taking the Canadian federal government to court (https://ccla.org/press-release/ccla-will-fight-invocation-of-emergencies-act-in-court-2/) over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s historic move to invoke the Emergencies Act this week.
“The government has brought in extreme law that has never been used, and it announced emergency orders that will have sweeping consequences,” said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, executive director of the CCLA, at a news conference Thur (Feb 17) afternoon. “Orders that have passed outside of ordinary democratic processes.”
On Mon (Feb 14), Trudeau became the first Canadian leader to invoke the federal Emergencies Act as a last resort to terminate protests verging on a fourth weekend in the capital.
The CCLA (https://t.me/covidpositivenews/134), a Canadian non-profit devoted to defending constitutional rights, called Trudeau’s move “extraordinary” and “unconstitutional,” urging that legal requirements put in place to safeguard democratic processes have not been met.
“The Emergencies Act is clear. It has to be a very serious danger to the life, health and safety of Canadians that is completely overwhelming to the provinces or it has to be a serious threat to the territorial integrity, security or sovereignty of Canada that Canada does not already have laws to address,” Mendelsohn Aviv said.
To address these concerns, the CCLA said it has launched a judicial review challenging the federal government’s invocation of emergency measures.
While the prime minister has stressed that the new emergency powers will be targeted, the CCLA said the actual written text is not limited to specific cities or provinces. Instead, it applies to every single Canadian.
“They are not geographically limited, they do not target specific protests, they apply universally across the country,” Mendelsohn Aviv warns.