Freedom Convoy: Canadian Civil Liberties Association Sues Federal Government Over Emergencies Act

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is taking the federal government to court over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s historic decision to invoke the Emergencies Act this week.

“The government has introduced an extreme law that has never been used, and it has announced emergency orders that will have far-reaching consequences,” said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA ), during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. “Orders given outside of ordinary democratic processes.”

On Monday, Trudeau became the first Canadian leader to invoke federal emergency measures law as a last resort to end protests approaching a fourth weekend in the nation’s capital.

The CCLA, a Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to defending constitutional rights, called Trudeau’s decision “extraordinary” and “unconstitutional”, saying that the legal requirements put in place to protect democratic processes have not been respected.

“The Emergencies Act is clear. It must be a very serious danger to the life, health and safety of Canadians that is completely overwhelming to the provinces or it must be a serious threat to the territorial integrity, security or sovereignty of Canada that Canada does not already have laws to address,” said Mendelsohn Aviv.

To address those concerns, the CCLA said it has launched a judicial review challenging the federal government’s invocation of emergency measures.

The organization condemned protesters displaying violent, racist and homophobic acts on the streets of Ottawa and expressed sympathy for nearby residents who have been hard hit by the ongoing disruptions in their communities.

However, Abby Deshman, CCLA’s director of criminal justice, said: “In our view, the thresholds set out in the Emergencies Act, the legal requirements put in place to protect our democratic processes, do not have not been achieved”.

While the Prime Minister stressed that the new emergency powers will be target, the ACLC said the actual written text is not limited to specific cities or provinces. Instead, they said it applied to all Canadians.

“They’re not geographically restricted, they don’t target specific protests, they apply universally across the country.”

Andrew B. Reiter