Emergencies Act Review: Canadians divided whether 'Freedom Convoy' could have been dispersed without it.
May 12, 2022 – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waited until the final day legally allowable before launching a compulsory review of the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act in March. The Act was triggered by the government and approved by Parliament after members of the so-called Freedom Convoy blocked streets with vehicles and occupied downtown Ottawa in opposition to vaccine mandates and pandemic-related restrictions.
A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds that Canadians remain unsure whether this was the best path to resolution in breaking up the protests that besieged Ottawa.
The largest group – close to half (46%) – say that this was necessary to give police the tools and resources necessary to quell protests. Four-in-five (79%) past Liberal voters and three-in-five (58%) past New Democrats bolster the ranks of those in support of using the Act. That said, more than one-in-three (34%) Canadians and half of past CPC voters (51%) disagree, and feel it was unnecessary and police already had the powers they needed to complete the job.
A considerable group – 15 per cent – say that they don’t think any action was necessary by any level of government or policing, and that protests should have been allowed to continue unbothered.
As the Public Order Emergency Commission continues its investigation into the decisions that were made and how the Act was used, Canadians are deeply divided about the future of this never-before-used lever of Parliament. An equal number say that the use of this mechanism was a good example of how it should be done for other governments to follow (45%) or that it sets a bad precedent for future governments and may lead to abuse (44%). This, too, is subject to stark political divides.
More Key Findings:
View entire poll at link below:
Freedom Convoy disrupts $$$ Billions in Trade
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is suing 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.
She said use of the act "seriously infringes on the Charter rights of Canadians."
The Emergencies Act was invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response to ongoing demonstrations against COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.
The convoy protest in Ottawa gridlocked the downtown core for more than 20 days, while other demonstrations blocked international border crossings in Windsor, Ontario. and Coutts, Alberta. The blockade disrupted billions of dollars in trade and interrupted the flow of goods between Canada and its biggest trading partner. (According to Fortune Magazine the auto industry alone faced losses of more than $988 million.)