Ottawa to appeal ruling Canada's use of emergency powers was unreasonable

Ottawa to appeal ruling Canada
# 24 January 2024 05:28 (UTC +04:00)

The Canadian government will appeal a court ruling that Ottawa's use of emergency powers in early 2022 to end anti-government protests was unreasonable, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday, APA reports.

A federal judge earlier on Tuesday said the Liberal government's use of the Emergencies Act to clear the "Freedom Convoy" demonstrations that paralyzed the capital in 2022 was unreasonable, according to CBC News.

"We respect very much Canada's independent judiciary. However, we do not agree with this decision, and respectfully, we will be appealing it," Freeland told reporters in Montreal.

Freeland, who also serves as the deputy prime minister, said the decision to invoke emergency powers was taken because the public safety of Canadians and the national security were under threat.

"I was convinced at the time it was the right thing to do, it was the necessary thing to do. I remain and we remain convinced of that," she said.

The convoy demonstrations against public health measures including vaccine mandates shut down Ottawa and blocked some border crossings for weeks in January and February 2022. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau portrayed the move to use emergency powers as unavoidable, saying it was not possible to negotiate with the protesters.

Last year, the commissioner of an independent inquiry into the decision said that the government met the threshold for invoking emergency powers.

"I conclude that there was no national emergency justifying the invocation of the Emergencies Act and the decision to do so was therefore unreasonable and ultra vires," Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley wrote in the Tuesday decision, according to CBC.

The case was brought forward by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Constitution Foundation and individuals who argued Ottawa did not meet the legal threshold when it invoked the legislation, which had never been used before.

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