Commissioner Rouleau has determined that the Liberal government met the threshold to invoke the Emergencies Act against the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa last year. This demonstrates that the requirements for utilizing this legislation are not stringent enough. The Emergencies Act is an incredibly powerful tool that the federal government can use; it suspends the rights of Canadian citizens and is an updated version of the War Measures Act.
The Emergencies Act should only be used as a last resort. It gives the government the ability to force labour on citizens and to supersede property and privacy rights. The language in the act makes this clear.
The Emergencies Act can be justified in extreme emergency situations, such as an earthquake or invasion. In the case of the October Crisis in 1970, a domestic terrorist group had set bombs and murdered a kidnapped public official. There was no room to delay.
The Freedom Convoy protest did not constitute an extreme emergency situation. Time was not of the essence, and the government should have attempted to negotiate in good faith before taking such extreme measures.
The Emergencies Act is flawed and needs more depth and a clear checklist to follow before it can be used. In the case of protests, the government must be obligated to try to negotiate before the act can be invoked. Commissioner Rouleau missed an opportunity to make something productive come from the inquiry. A dangerous precedent has been set in Canada.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.