Conservative leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre is calling for the resignation of Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino, after the Liberal cabinet member made repeated claims in the House and in a committee that the Emergencies Act was invoked after police requests.
Poilievre said that Mendicino created "a fake excuse" to justify the act's invocation.
"It’s crystal clear that the Minister made false statements in the House of Commons," said Poilievre. "And it wasn’t just about something trivial. He wanted to give Trudeau cover to invoke the Emergencies Act, freeze people’s bank accounts, and trample on civil liberties."
Mendicino's deputy minister Rob Stewart, on the other hand, claim that the minister's words have been "misunderstood," and that the Liberals instead acted on the advice of police.
Poilievre said that, either way, Mendicino's time has run out. "The minister made false statements. If he messed up, then he’s incompetent. If he lied, then he’s dishonest. Either way, he can’t keep this important job," he said.
Mendicino said on April 28 that the act was invoked on the "advice" of law enforcement, but also said on May 17 that there was "a very strong consensus among law enforcement that the Emergencies Act was necessary."
Stewart said that these words still mean that Mendicino's words were misunderstood. "I believe that the intention that he was trying to express was that law enforcement asked for the tools that were contained in the Emergencies Act," Stewart said. "My understanding is that there is a misunderstanding of the minister’s words."
Former Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly, interim Ottawa police chief Steve Bell, and RCMP commissioner Brenda Lucky have all said that they did not request that the Act be invoked, and are unaware of anyone in their departments who did.
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