Civil Liberties, Constitutional Freedoms Group Reacts to Public Order Emergency Committee Report

Constitutional Liberties and Civil Liberties Organizations have expressed disagreement with the Public Order Emergency Commission’s main conclusions, and a federal court has ruled on the legality of the use of emergency law against Ottawa’s Freedom Convoy. said he must.

Commissioner Paul Rouleaux on February 17 released the final report of an investigation into the government’s use of emergency laws to clear motorcade protests against COVID-19 orders. Rouleau concluded that the government met the “very high” standards required to invoke the law.

Cara Zwiebel, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s (CCLA) Fundamental Liberties Program and former CCLA co-counsel before the commission, said Rolleau was reluctant to make the decision.

“We appreciate that the commissioner found that the high threshold for calls was met, but he did so reluctantly,” Zwibel said at a press conference on Feb. 17.

“The Commissioner said the factual basis underlying his conclusions was not overwhelming and that rational and informed people could reach different conclusions than he did. Our view remains that the is not being met.”

Mr Zwibel pointed out that the commission has not made a final decision.

“Judge Rouleau, in his report, admitted that his job was not to assess the legality of the government’s decision to invoke the law. That’s why we initiated and maintained a petition for judicial review in federal court, which will assess the legality of the declaration and also consider the legality and constitutionality of the emergency measures introduced,” she said.

The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedom has hired 20 attorneys to represent Freedom Convoy participants and supporters.and Posted online on February 17the Judiciary Center expressed its disagreement with Rolleau and, like the CCLA, welcomed the court’s decision.

“The Judiciary Center is disappointed with Commissioner Leroux’s conclusion that the criteria for invoking the Emergency Act have been met. This conclusion is not binding on federal courts. April 3-5, 2023 Until then, federal courts will hear legal and constitutional challenges in Ottawa. Jost et al v Canada To declare a state of emergency to the Freedom Convoy. ”

The Justice Center says the government’s response to “the largest peaceful protest in Canadian history” has been too heavy-handed.

“In response, the federal government invoked a state of emergency law, deployed armed police, and used unprecedented force and violence to force a peaceful end to the protests. We have frozen the bank accounts of everyday Canadians who assisted

The Democracy Fund (TDF), which also participated in the commission, said it was disappointed with the commission’s findings and said it would look into the report in more detail in the coming days.

“The TDF agrees with the Commissioner that a ‘reasonable’ and ‘well-informed’ person may disagree with his conclusions, but there are reasonable grounds to believe that a threat to Canada’s security exists. We respectfully disagree with what happened,” the organization said. Statement dated 17 February.

At a CCLA press conference, Henein Hutchison Robitaille LLP partner Ewa Krajewska said the federal government’s decision to waive cabinet privileges was necessary for the commission’s work and public scrutiny.

“The commissioner recommends in his report that the government should be obliged to provide all information to the cabinet and ministers it relied on to invoke the emergency law. amend the emergency law,” Krajewska said.

“We hope the government will agree with this recommendation and make this amendment.”