May 25, 2024

More groups file lawsuits against Trudeau over Emergencies Act


Civil liberties and constitutional rights groups have decided to proceed with legal challenges against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act which allowed the government to freeze bank accounts of various individuals who have supported the Freedom Convoy [also see Canadian experience shows glimpse of totalitarian future we can expect if citizens do not pushback].

Joanna Baron, executive director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) said that it will push through with the legal challenge because “it is vitally important that the courts address the legal issues raised by this public order emergency prior to the next time the Emergencies Act is used”. Meanwhile, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) said that it was important for courts to “clarify the legal threshold and constitutionality for the government to take such measures in the future”.[1]

A third group, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) has signified that it has filed a constitutional challenge against the federal government on behalf of respondents whose bank accounts have been frozen under the Emergencies Act. JCCF president John Carpay describes Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act as the “most egregious and disturbing, unnecessary, and unjustified power grabs” by a democratic government. He adds, “The freezing of bank accounts is a gross abuse of government power, used to punish those who supported a peaceful protest for the return of Charter rights and freedoms that were taken away from Canadians 23 months ago”.[2]

Editor’s Note: These legal challenges are important because they will clarify for Canadians when the federal government can suspend their right to free assembly. Also, a positive ruling in favor of the respondents will be a precedent to the rest of the world that the right to protest against an abusive government holds primary importance even in an emergency [Remember how governments allowed the Black Lives Matter protests to continue for weeks? See Black Lives Matter protests did not lead to spike in coronavirus cases. The WHO also agreed, read WHO believes protests important amid coronavirus pandemic].

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