In Canada, checks and balances to curb government overshoots are ignored
The federal government has declared a state of emergency and enacted a state of emergency on February 14, this year. We are now dealing with the aftermath. The Minister of Public Security is being asked to resign for misleading the House of Representatives.
Just mention one of the worst abuses. It was that the government empowered itself to freeze the bank accounts of those who supported the protest without a judicial order. Like much of what happened during the COVID crisis, it taught us that the people who run the country do not understand any of the basics of constitutional government.
The current view is that people in the administration have the power to do whatever they want, just because they were elected.
It’s not how the system works. Government history has taught us that the actions of those in power need to be constantly scrutinized to keep them in the right range. As a result, we are there to balance a lot of checks and prevent them from doing what they think is appropriate.
There is a reason why Magna Carta is the cornerstone of the system. It represents the principle that land law takes precedence over government authority. Land law is currently the highest constitution, imposing legal restrictions on the government’s authority to limit our freedom.
It’s a principle that worked pretty well, at least until a new generation of politicians, judges and civil servants clearly decided that politics outweighed the law and the government had the right to do what it wanted. The enforcement of the emergency law will be reduced as a historical embarrassment. It simply showed that politicians were unaware of their limits and would go any length to follow their path.
The excuse throughout the crisis was that we were in an emergency. Of course, it was an exaggeration and a political novel. The threat to our national security was almost imaginary. Tell someone in Sudan or Ukraine that the sound of honking on Wellington Street threatens the country.
Much of Ottawa’s middle-class indignation during the “Freedom Convoy” era was instigated by local politicians because we were heading for local elections and no one wanted to offend the masses. The dismissal of the police chief in the midst of illegal activity deserves its own investigation.
It seems to me that Mr Trudeau was almost hidden. He had a dictatorial side, and he simply didn’t want protesters there. It was mysterious that his government did not listen to the frustration screams of ordinary Canadians.
Importantly, the enforcement of the Emergency Act was not a true response to the facts of the field. Looking at the hearing on the enforcement of the emergency law last week, it was clear from the humorous reaction that people on Mr Trudeau’s side knew it wasn’t justified and really didn’t care. They intended to bend the facts and do whatever they had to do to get the results their boss wanted. Now they are trying to rationalize it all. It seems to me that their ability to self-deceive is endless.
In its application to federal courts, the Civil Liberty Association described the enforcement of the Emergency Law as “unnecessary, unjust, unconstitutional.” I think we can go further. It seems to me that Mr Trudeau’s use of emergency power was clearly unconstitutional.
So where were the Privy Council and civil servants? Why did almost everyone in the upper management simply go together? The court should have intervened. The police should have barked. And where was the mainstream news agency that should have hit the government?
All of them should have braked.
There is a deep problem here. It seems to me that the political situation in Ottawa has become very tolerant. The traditional checks and balances of government are still on paper, but it is clear that they make little sense when all the people who apply them are in politics.
The real crisis is the personality crisis. We need another person in an authority position who refuses to give in to political pressure. Judges and officials are needed to carry out calm and calm oversight and impose appropriate restrictions on the Prime Minister and his cabinet.
I don’t know where those people are, but without them it is clear that the people in charge will continue to mess up the freedom of the people. And then run away.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.