Critics Respond to Trudeau’s Use of the Emergencies Act

In response to the Truckers Convoy and ensuing protests against vaccine mandates, Prime Minister Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act on February 14, 2022. After considerable outcry, it was revoked on February 23, 2022. I suggested his use of the act made him look like a School yard bully: Bullying on the Political Playground.

Here are responses from a broad spectrum of analysts:

Andrew Scheer, former Leader of Canada’s Conservative Party, sounding more Prime Ministerial than Trudeau

Parliament is suspended! Before MPs even finish debating Trudeau’s massive power grab, the House of Commons gets shut down.
– Andrew Scheer, February 18, 2022 –

Wall Street Journal, an International newspaper

Modern liberals can hurtle from extravagant tolerance to suppression without batting an eye. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dramatizes the tendency… Bank-account freezes weren’t necessary to clear the blockades. That required police only to arrest those blocking traffic and to requisition tow trucks (already authorized by Canada’s criminal code). The asset freezes serve not to end an emergency but to incapacitate and intimidate protesters after the fact… In December 2020 Mr. Trudeau chided India for its police response to farmers’ blockades of Delhi. “Let me remind you,” he said, “Canada will always be there to defend the right of peaceful protest.” Mr. Trudeau prattles on about rights half a world away but won’t respect them half a block from Parliament.
– Wall Street Journal Editorial Board –

Bill Maher, an American sociopolitical commentator, identifies as a liberal.
The Canada’s Toronto Sun political columnists, Lorrie Goldstein and Lorne Gunter, discuss why Bill Maher took aim at Justin Trudeau.

Joanna Williams is Head of Education and Culture at Policy Exchange in the UK

Where is the liberal outrage at Trudeau’s monstrously illiberal behaviour?
Imagine the uproar if, back in 2020, President Trump had frozen bank accounts belonging to key figures in the Black Lives Matter movement
– Joanna Williams, The Telegraph, 21 February, 2022

How the Emergencies Act was Created

I was present during the negotiations around the federal Emergencies Act in 1987. As one of two full-time lawyers at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association at the time, I witnessed firsthand how Alan Borovoy, the CCLA’s then-general counsel, managed to shape the contours of this scheme. And I saw how the end product was a carefully calibrated piece of legislation with checks at every turn.

It’s why I believe the Emergencies Act was not a legally suitable instrument for removing unwelcome occupiers on Ottawa’s streets.
– David Schneiderman, professor of law at the UofT, The Globe and Mail – It shouldn’t have been invoked in Ottawa –

David Sacks, cofounder and general partner at Craft Ventures.

Trudeau escalated things further by issuing a directive requiring financial institutions — including banks, credit unions, co-ops, loan companies, trusts, and even cryptocurrency wallets — to stop “providing any financial or related services” to anyone associated with the protests (a “designated person”).

Banks, according to this new order, have a “duty to determine” if one of their customers is a “designated person.” A “designated person” can refer to anyone who “directly or indirectly” participates in the protest, including donors who “provide property to facilitate” the protests through crowdfunding sites.

Because the donor data to the crowdfunding site GiveSendGo was hacked — and the leaked data shows that Canadians donated most of the $8 million raised — many thousands of law-abiding Canadians now face the prospect of financial retaliation and ruin merely for supporting an anti-government protest.

The fear of being ensnared in the dragnet will surely have a chilling effect on the commercial prospects of those suspected of “unacceptable views,” creating a caste of untouchables whom no one will dare to transact with or help.
– David Sacks, National Post, Trudeau creates caste of economic untouchables

About Freezing Bank Accounts

As reports of frozen accounts linked to convoy donations continue to roll in, members of the Commons finance committee spent Tuesday afternoon questioning staff from the Canada Revenue Agency and the departments of Finance and Justice about the controversial emergency measures that allow police to lock bank accounts of those suspected of funding the illegal protests without first obtaining a court order.

“Just to be clear, a financial contribution either through a crowdsourced platform or directly, could result in their bank account being frozen?” Conservative MP Philip Lawrence asked Department of Finance Assistant Deputy Minister Isabelle Jacques.
“Yes,” she replied.
“They didn’t have to actively be involved in the protest, they didn’t have to be here in Ottawa at one of the blockades?” Lawrence asked.
“When you freeze someone’s bank account, you’re effectively removing them from society,” Lawrence said.

– National Post – Even small donation to Freedom Convoy after Feb. 15 enough to have donor’s bank accounts frozen, finance committee told

Rex Murphy joins Dr. Peterson to discuss the most recent actions of Trudeau’s Government

Senator John N. Kennedy is a Louisiana Republican who champions the promotion and protection of human rights. (He is not related to John F. Kennedy.)

You say follow the science, Mr. Prime Minister. Let’s follow the science. We look around. We see the omicron variant, its virulence waning. Most of us have immunity. We are either natural or we are vaccinated. So, what, Mr. Prime Minister, is your road map for getting government off our backs and allowing us to get back to normal? …Instead of saying, ‘Fair question, let’s sit down and talk about it.’ His plan for convincing the truckers that they are wrong is by saying ‘you’re a bunch of stupid idiots’.
– Senator John Kennedy, February 15, 2022 –

The following quotes are from an article in the National Post by Raymond J. de Souza: Invoking the Emergencies Act is the logical conclusion of Trudeau’s government by decree.

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