Meanwhile, Canada’s Conservative Party has shot up in the polls and Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney is taking the measure to court.
As I noted in my last report on Canada’s “Emergencies Act,” the swiftest way to restore liberty in the nation would be through Parliament.
Sadly, the body voted to continue its implementation.
The Emergencies Act was approved in parliament by 185 to 151, with the minority Liberal government getting support from left-leaning New Democrats.
The special measures, announced by Trudeau a week ago, have been deemed unnecessary and an abuse of power by some opposition politicians.
Over the weekend, Canadian police restored normalcy in Ottawa. The protesters initially wanted an end to cross-border COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truck drivers, but the occupation turned into a broader demonstration against Trudeau and his government. Protestors blocked the busiest land crossing between Canada and the United States for six days, snarling trade.
The move allows the measures under the Emergencies Act to go on for a full 30-day period once it passes the Canadian Senate. A 2-party coalition cobbled together the vote.
Mr. Trudeau, who leads a minority Liberal government, received support from the country’s left-leaning New Democratic Party to extend the emergency powers. The Conservative Party and Bloc Quebecois opposed, arguing that the invocation of emergency powers threatened civil liberties.
The extension of special powers to cope with any future demonstrations would be one of the most aggressive moves by a Western government in response to public discontent spurred by the pandemic and public-health rules.
Those powers, per the Cabinet order, authorizes police to designate certain areas—including the streets around Ottawa’s Parliament Hill—as no-protest zones, where people could be subject to arrest. The powers also compel service providers, like tow-truck operators, to remove vehicles from the scene and took aim at protesters’ financial assets and sources of cash.
The extension still requires approval from the country’s upper chamber, or Senate, which could vote as early as Tuesday. The Senate, whose members are appointed by the prime minister, rarely overturns measures approved by the lower house.
Yet, Trudeau may have to deal with some unintended consequences. Conservative Party interim leader Candice Bergen has been fighting the Emergencies Act tooth-and-nail, and it appears she attempted to get a vote to revoke the measure outright.
My statement on the passing of the measures under the Emergencies Act, and our Conservative motion to revoke them. pic.twitter.com/xUU1iXgJy8
— Candice Bergen (@CandiceBergenMP) February 22, 2022
Despite her motion getting shot down, Bergen’s efforts are bearing fruit. The Conservative Party has shot up 10 points in the polls.
The federal Conservative party has shot up in the polls since Candice Bergen took over as interim leader and moved the party back to the right, according to new data from Mainstreet Research.
Bergen took over earlier this month after the Tory caucus voted to remove Erin O’Toole, who failed to form government in the federal election last September after advocating for progressive policies that Conservatives traditionally don’t favour.
When asked by Mainstreet whom they’d vote for if a federal election were held today, 39 per cent of leaning and decided voters chose the Conservative party, while 31 per cent chose the Liberals.
Another 15 per cent said they’d cast their ballot for the NDP, while the Bloc Québécois and the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) each got six per cent. The Greens or another party were picked by two per cent of respondents each.
Furthermore, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is launching a court challenge of the Emergencies Act, calling it an “unnecessary and disproportionate measure.”
The premier posted a video online in which he decries the “unjustified use of the Emergencies Act,” and says the province is filing a court challenge and might intervene in support of other court challenges of the federal government’s actions, including that of the Canadian Liberties Association and the Canadian Constitution Foundation.
“We need to take action to defend, yes the law and order, but also civil liberties and our constitution in Canada. Alberta will be doing just that,” said Kenney in the video posted Saturday.
“The federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act is an unnecessary and disproportionate measure that can violate civil liberties, invades provincial jurisdiction and creates a very dangerous precedent for the future. And it’s not necessary.”
Kenney said the ending of the blockade at the Coutts border crossing is an example of how unnecessary the Emergencies Act is to resolving the protests across the country that are clogging roads and infrastructure.
“Provincial law enforcement authorities are able to deal with illegal road blockades,” said Kenney.
'We don't need these extraordinary powers to deal with people parked illegally on a road.'
Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney on the 'Freedom Convoy' protesters and whether there is currently an emergency in Canada.
— GB News (@GBNEWS) February 21, 2022
Here is hoping that Canadians free themselves from an act that essentially treats peaceful protesters and those who support them as “enemies of the state” sooner rather than later.
We don't deserve better, we let it happen. Doesn't mean we give up though 🇨🇦 https://t.co/uUHZ1BTO2b
— Dave Shrigley (@dshrig) February 22, 2022
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