Is Trudeau Making Unconstitutional Calls?

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We’ve been looking at the authoritarian and tyrannical actions Canada’s government has taken against Freedom Convoy over the past weeks.

Trudeau invokes the Emergencies Act as part of his authoritarianism. This bill gives the prime minister sweeping authority, in this case, to use financial and police power to end the protests.

The Emergencies Act has never been used by Canada’s government before. It’s a modified version of the War Measures Act that Pierre Trudeau invoked in 1970 to respond to kidnappings by Quebec separatists. As I noted not too long ago, authoritarianism is a hallmark of the Trudeau family.

The use of the Emergencies Act must be approved by Parliament for a longer period of time. The House of Commons narrowly approved Monday’s vote to grant the government power under the Emergencies Act for a period of 30 days. Trudeau is still waiting for Senate approval before he can become Canada’s temporary dictator.

Tara Henley, Substack publisher, and former journalist for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed Ryan Alford, a Canadian constitutional scholar about the Emergencies Act. Alford also discussed whether Trudeau’s use is legal under Canada’s constitution.

Alford, in addition to his constitutional studies, was also one of 34 lawyers who signed an Open Letter opposing the Emergencies Act.

Alford provided a brief explanation about what approval by Parliament of the Act would look like:

As required by the Emergencies Act to act, Parliament met within seven days to approve the continuing operation of the act. This means that only one chamber of Parliament has approved that the Emergencies Act should continue to be in operation. The Senate will have to discuss and vote on it. The cabinet can issue regulations that are legally binding for the next 30 days, starting with last week’s proclamation.

Alford stated that Trudeau does not have the legal basis to invoke The Emergencies Act.

Henley asked Alford why Trudeau declared an emergency now that protests had ended. Alford said it was “purely speculation.” The government wants to prevent protests from resurgent or starting again. Trudeau and his government want to end protesters’ financial transactions. Alford stated that every Canadian is now concerned about their finances.

Alford rightly pointed out that Canadians would condemn such actions if they were committed by Russia or China.

Henley asked Alford what damage Trudeau’s actions would do to Canada’s constitution. Alford mentioned Pierre Trudeau’s use of War Measures Act during the 1970’s October Crisis ( read this article). Trudeau’s overreach led to the government updating the Emergencies Act in order to stop a power-hungry future administration from taking too much. To put it another way, to stop what is happening right now.

Alford raised the possibility that the government might ask for an extension of the Emergencies Act beyond the 30-day limit. Alford pointed out that the need for it to be extended proves that Freedom Convoy doesn’t constitute an emergency and that the only power that the government claims it doesn’t have is the ability to financially punish protesters or their supporters.

Alford and Henley concluded their interview by looking at Ottawa’s conditions, Alford being a resident. He pointed out that Ottawa isn’t a single city and that many people sympathize fully with the Freedom Convoy. He also noted how disappointing it was that many Ottawans who are left-leaning consider the protests an “occupation”, but not the authoritarianism they have created.