Prime Minister Trudeau Revokes Emergencies Act
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement to end the use of the Emergencies Act during a press conference in Ottawa on Wednesday.
“Today, after careful consideration, we’re ready to confirm that the situation is no longer an emergency,” he said. “Therefore, the federal government will be ending the use of the Emergencies Act.”
Trudeau said the government was confident that the existing laws and bylaws were now sufficient to keep Canadians safe.
Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history on Feb. 14 as a response to the Freedom Convoy 2022 blockades that had occupied the downtown core of Ottawa for just over three weeks.
When asked by invoking the Emergencies Act what historical precedence has been set and such a low bar for more governments in the future to use, Trudeau responded by saying, “I think people have seen from both the measured way the police responded, the extremely limited and proportional tools that were put forward, the full compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the safeguards in place, and indeed the processes for accountability afterwards whether it’s the committee of parliamentarians or the inquiry or the court cases that are already underway challenging the use of the Emergencies Act.
I don’t think anyone feels that there was a low bar or this will be fully scrutinized and reflected on. Indeed, we were very conscious that this Emergencies Act had never been invoked before. And we were very aware there would be significant scrutiny on our use of it, and that’s why were so focused on making sure that it was proportional, that it was reasonable, and as we demonstrate today, extremely time limited.
When the act is invoked, it is in place for 30 days. After the vote on Monday, it could have been in place for another three weeks. But we committed and knew that verifying every single day if it was still needed was going to be key to demonstrating the limited and measured use of this tool. But we know that there will continue to be threats to Canada, to our democracy, to democracies around the world, and we cannot shy away from using tools that are necessary to maintain the safety and security of citizens, and that’s exactly what we did in a responsible and proportionate way.”