BREAKING: Trudeau Liberals met threshold to invoke Emergencies Act, report concludes

"Invocation of the Emergencies Act is a drastic move, but it is not a dictatorial one."

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC
Commissioner Paul Rouleau's report on whether or not the Trudeau Liberals acted appropriately by invoking the Emergencies Act has found that the federal government met the "very high" threshold needed to justify its use.

In his report, Rouleau quoted Perrin Beatty, the minister who introduced the Emergencies Act in 1988.

"When the country is threatened by serious and dangerous situations, the decision whether to invoke emergency powers is necessarily a judgment call, or more accurately a series of judgment calls. It depends not only on an assessment of the current facts of the situation, but even more on judgments about the direction events are in danger of moving and about how quickly the situation could deteriorate. Judgments have to be made, not just about what has happened or is happening, but also about what might happen. In addition, to decide about invoking exceptional measures, judgments have to be made about what the government is capable of doing without exceptional powers, and on whether these capabilities are likely to be effective and sufficient.

"For these reasons, I have concluded that Cabinet was reasonably concerned that the situation it was facing was worsening and at risk of becoming dangerous and unmanageable. There was credible and compelling evidence supporting both a subjective and objective reasonable belief in the existence of a public order emergency. The decision to invoke the Act was appropriate," he wrote.

Rouleau noted that the freezing of assets by the government, which included personal bank accounts, was "appropriate," though he says that there should have been a more clear path to have one's account unfrozen after complying with the emergency orders. 

He noted that it was unjust for someone to have their account frozen because their spouse was at the event, but still stood by his reasoning that it was "still appropriate" to block accounts.

One aspect that he says was not appropriate, however, was the suspension of vehicle insurance. "There is one aspect of the freezing regime that was in my view, inappropriate in principle: the suspension of vehicle insurance. While intended to be another measure to discourage participation, it was in fact counterproductive and if implemented, would have been potentially dangerous," he wrote. 

"Invocation of the Emergencies Act is a drastic move, but it is not a dictatorial one," he wrote.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.


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