Justice minister says emergency law revoked to ‘get ahead of NDP and senators’: text message

Justice Minister David Rameti told fellow Liberal lawmakers on February 23 that the government had withdrawn the emergency law, according to a text message entered as evidence to the Public Order Emergency Committee. November 23rd.

“I’m glad I quit EA [Emergencies Act]but would it have been more appropriate to wait until Friday? 44 hours after the vote, ugly,” Liberal MP Greg Fergus wrote in a text message to Rametti.

“No, we need to get ahead of the NDP and the senators said they would vote against it based on their view that it was no longer an emergency,” Rametti replied.

“Dacord. Thank you for answering my very political question,” Fergus replied.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government invoked the Emergency Act on February 14 to address cross-border protests and blockades calling for the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The subpoena was backed by the House of Commons on February 21, with the minority Liberal Party backed by the NDP.

The government then canceled the state of emergency on February 23, before the Senate voted.

Senator Marilou McFedran Said Back in April, some of her colleagues and members of parliament were then working to collect signatures to begin the process of abolishing the state of public order emergency.

Another series of text messages on the issue of support for emergency legislation in the Senate was also entered as evidence to the committee.

Senator Mark Gold, chief of staff, said on February 23, “Just before the announcement, 51 voted yes, 22 voted against, and 18 were undecided (this is half There is a high possibility that it will be divided into each),” he wrote.

Rametti pointed to these messages to put his own comments about the lack of support from the Senate into context.


Rametti has answered many questions from attorneys representing various parties about the question of legal limits to invoking the Emergency Act, but in his role as Attorney General, citing the privileges of his attorney’s clients, Mr. , declined to answer many of them.

Federal officials, in their testimony before the recent investigation, provided a variety of grounds for invoking the legislation, but the type of legal advice the Attorney General provided to the government is key to the issue at hand. .

To avoid discussing it, Rametti said on numerous occasions that Justice Department attorneys would submit legal arguments to the committee to address the matter.

Those questioning the act’s invocation have cited the fact that the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency (CSIS) assessed that last winter’s protests did not meet the definition of a threat to national security outlined in the CSIS Act. claim.

Declaring a public order emergency under the Emergency Act presupposes the existence of a threat as defined in Section 2 of the CSIS Act.

Rametti said it doesn’t matter because the government retains decision-making power.

“What Congress didn’t do with emergency legislation is delegate decision-making to CSIS,” he said. “The decision-making power is always in the hands of the Cabinet.”

Article 3 of the State of Emergency Act provides other conditions for declaring a state of emergency. For example, if the situation is beyond the state’s capacity to deal with it and cannot be handled by ordinary authorities.

Rametti was presented with a speech delivered by then Defense Minister Perrin Beatty, the initiator of the bill that became the Emergency Act in 1987.

Beatty told the House that the definition of “threat to Canadian security” contained in the CSIS Act “is not alone” with respect to the emergency law.

He said it should be read in conjunction with the bill’s definition of a national emergency (Section 3) and other provisions.

“In other words, before a government can declare a public order emergency under Part II, the emergency must meet the definition of a national emergency set out in the preamble,” Beatty said. , which we call “double testing”.

Janani Shanmuganathan, Counsel of the Constitutional Foundation of Canada, said to Rametti: A national emergency under the preamble, that’s what he calls this double test. ”

“That’s certainly your point of view,” Rametti replied.

The government’s claims that the authorities had no means to deal with the situation without the Emergency Act have been repeatedly questioned by testimony and evidence from senior police officers.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lackey told the Public Security Minister’s chief of staff on February 13 that not all tools have been exhausted.

Ottawa Police Interim Commissioner Steve Bell Said Some say the October 24 protests in Ottawa would have been resolved without the state of emergency law. share By OPP Chief Supt. Carson Purdy on October 21st. Purdy was involved in preparing a plan to clean up the Ottawa protests.

Noe Chartier


Noé Chartier is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Montreal. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret