Constitutional rights group suing Ottawa for “abuse of government power” in invoking emergency law

Constitutional rights groups say Ottawa is accusing Ottawa of enacting an emergency law and freezing the financial accounts of several individuals who participated in recent protests against federal COVID-19 obligations.

The Japan Legal Support Center (JCCF) for Constitutional Freedom February 25 News Release Having filed a constitutional objection (pdf) Against the federal government on behalf of four Canadians, including two decorated military veterans and retired police officers.

On February 14, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enacted a bill to give police additional authority to expel protesters from downtown Ottawa.under Public order and morals emergency The financial institution declared on February 15 was also allowed to freeze the accounts of individuals and businesses suspected of being involved in the protest without the need for a court order.

The JCCF has filed a proceeding against President John Carpey’s statement that he was one of the “most vicious, disturbing, unnecessary, and unjustified seize powers” of the democratic government in his lifetime. Said to wake up.

“The freeze on bank accounts was a terrible abuse of government power and was used to punish those who supported peaceful protests against the return of the rights and freedoms of the Charter, which was robbed of Canadians 23 months ago.” Said Carpay.

The protest began as a truck driver initiative called “Freedom Convoy”. This opposed the federal vaccination obligations requiring cross-border truck drivers to face full vaccination with COVID-19 or 14 to re-enter Canada from the United States. -Day quarantine. On January 29, heavy-duty truck convoys from different parts of the country headed to Ottawa for massive protests, with many joining to seek the end of all COVID-19 measures and restrictions. Therefore, it immediately expanded to the national movement. ..

On February 21, the House of Commons resolved to pass a motion to approve emergency measures. However, Trudeau canceled the act on February 23 when the Senate began to debate whether to follow suit.

By that time, at least 206 accounts, a total of $ 7.8 million, had been frozen with the help of Freedom Convoy, said Deputy Finance Minister Isabel Jack at a meeting of the Parliamentary Finance Committee on February 22.

JCCF said it had asked constitutional lawyers Brendan Miller of Foster LLP and Blair Ector of Ector Law to act on behalf of JCCF and its clients. The Center will proceed with a court proceeding as a “public interest issue” with the aim of holding the government accountable for the decision to exercise extraordinary power, stating that it violated the rights and freedoms of the Canadian Charter.

“The judicial center’s legal action would argue that the use of emergency law is unconstitutional, overuse of executive branch, and in that situation is not permitted by law,” JCCF said.

Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenny, the Canadian Civil Freedom Association, and the Canadian Constitutional Foundation have each filed proceedings to challenge the invocation of Ottawa’s emergency measures. After Trudeau revoked the bill on February 23, all three said they would continue the proceedings in court.

Military veteran: “I’m not a terrorist”

JCCF said two of its clients have frozen their bank accounts under emergency law “without judicial approval or review process, using laws that normally apply only to terrorists and enemy countries.”

In a JCCF news release, the experience of Edward Cornell, 64, a retired Canadian Army warrant officer from New Brunswick, went to Ottawa to assist truck driver protests on various occasions in January and February. Details provided.

“I had no beliefs or intentions to overthrow the elected government in Canada … my belief that my military records stand up for democracy and democratic rights around the world. I support it, “Cornel told JCCF.

Cornell was awarded a medal of courage on June 15, 1987, in recognition of his heroic behavior in a dangerous situation while active in Cyprus. There he saved the man from drowning. He also served as an assistant officer to the Ontario Police Department from 2013 to 2015.

and Affidavit Cornell University said the protests in Ottawa were “fully peaceful” and “festive and friendly” with the participation of people of various backgrounds, races and ethnicities.

According to the JCCF, Cornell University was asked to help contact between police and protesters during the protest, but as a result of his efforts, his bank account and credit card were frozen.

“I was in a very desperate situation and couldn’t pay the invoice to be paid during this period,” Cornell University said, and the experience of having a bank account seized is “trauma.” I added.

“I didn’t violate the law, but the government confiscated my account and frozen the hard-earned money. I’m not a criminal. I’m not a terrorist. I’m a retired Canada. He was a military veteran and served in honor of his country … I feel betrayed by my government, “he said.

The JCCF said the four applicants it represented requested the federal court to find Trudeau’s state of emergency “unconstitutional, unjustice, and unlicensed by law.”

It was noted that the situation must be a “threat to Canada’s security” in order to declare an emergency that is offensive to public order and morals. This includes “serious acts of violence against people or property to achieve political, religious, or idealism.” Purpose within Canada. “

“The proceedings allege that when the declaration was made, there was no basis or fact to support the existence of a true national security threat to Canada,” JCCF said.

Andrew Chen


Andrew Chen is a Toronto-based Epoch Times reporter.