Liberal Party parliamentarians say it is unclear whether the use of the emergency law is justified, but voted in favor of the emergency law because of the “fact of distrust resolution now”. It states that it may have to be thrown.
and speech On February 21, Liberal Party lawmaker Nathaniel Erskine Smith expressed concern about the government’s enforcement of an emergency law and a 30-day extension of its measures.
“I’m skeptical that rigorous legal tests have been conducted on the enforcement of the law, and I’m not convinced that emergency measures should continue to exist beyond today,” Erskine Smith said. Told.
“I vote accordingly, but in reality it is now a distrust resolution. The disagreement I have expressed here is not equivalent to a distrust resolution and I am not interested in elections at this time. . “
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enacted an emergency law on February 14, using it as a means of suppressing protests by truck drivers and their supporters in Ottawa across the country against COVID-19 obligations and restrictions.
Protesters were largely expelled from downtown Ottawa this weekend. Blockades at several border intersections between Canada and the United States have also been cleared and resumed before the law came into force.
At a press conference on February 21, Trudeau said parliamentarians who voted against the law later that night doubted the federal leadership’s ability.
“I can’t imagine anyone voting’no’tonight doing anything other than showing that they don’t trust the government to make incredibly significant and important decisions in very difficult times. “He said.
“But, as I said, I’m convinced that the majority of parliamentarians support our values and stand up to stand up. [to] Stand up to support our democracy and support their fellow Canadians. “
The NDP has so far stated that it will support the Liberal Party in voting, which will give the minority government enough votes to pass the bill. Conservatives and Bloc Québécois opposed it.
Erskine Smith said he was dissatisfied with the fact that the federal government did not clarify why it relied on defining convoy protests as a “national emergency.”
The Emergency Act describes a national emergency as “an emergency and serious situation of a temporary nature, (a) seriously endangering the life, health or safety of Canadians and exceeding the capacity or authority of the state. It is a proportion or property. ” It either addresses it or (b) seriously threatens the Government of Canada’s ability to maintain Canada’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. “
“Looking at the illegal blockade and the negative effects it has had on many people, they define a national emergency as long as they understand the ability to mean both whether the state can act theoretically or not. There is a fair argument that they are meeting, as is the reality of their actions, “said Erskine Smith.
“But again, the problem is the blockade. Looking at the threat of serious violence, the violence that must constitute the national emergency in itself, its definition. It is completely unknown how is filled. “
and Press conference At the Lord Elgin Hotel on February 19, Freedom Convoy spokesman Tom Marazzo challenged the “illegal” allegations by the authorities, saying their protests were always peaceful.
“There was no violence during the three weeks I was here … no damage,” he said.
and Press release The Canadian Constitutional Foundation (CCF), issued on February 17, has announced that it will begin legal opposition to the Liberal Party’s enforcement of an emergency law. The objection is an urgent application for judicial review in federal court.
Christine Van Geyn, CCF proceedings director, said the government has invoked the law as a matter of “illegal and violating the rule of law” and “political convenience.”
“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set a dangerous precedent by invoking a federal emergency law that has never been used to deal with the current situation. The Emergency Law declares an emergency that is offensive to public order and morals. The high threshold to do is not met. ” Said Van Gain of the statement.
In addition to Erskine Smith, two other Liberal lawmakers have recently criticized Trudeau’s leadership.
Liberal lawmaker Joel Wrightbound said on February 8 that he had defeated the party and that the Liberal Party had politicized the pandemic during the 2021 elections.
“From a positive and unified approach, the decision was made to wedge, divide, and stigmatize. This pandemic politicization could undermine public confidence in our public health agencies,” Lightbound said. Said at a press conference.
Liberal lawmaker Yves Robilard also broke the ranks at his party the next day, telling the Hill Times on February 9 that Lightbound “told exactly what many of us are thinking.”
Omid Ghoreishi and Noé Chartier contributed to this report.