A recent judicial review by the Federal Court of Canada declared on Tuesday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act against protesters in 2022 was unconstitutional.
In 2022, Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to quell trucker protests against the Canadian government’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and vaccine mandates. Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley, in his decision, stated that Trudeau’s application of the act was neither legal nor justified.
“I conclude there was no national emergency justifying the invocation of the Emergencies Act and the decision to do so was therefore unreasonable,” Mosley wrote.
“The decision to issue the Proclamation does not bear the hallmarks of reasonableness – justification, transparency, and intelligibility – and was not justified in relation to the relevant factual and legal constraints that were required to be taken into consideration,” he added.
The ruling follows intense actions taken during the protests, where many “Freedom Convoy” participants faced confrontations and arrests by the police. Their personal and business bank accounts were frozen, and their vehicles were towed following Trudeau’s implementation of the Emergencies Act, as reported by The Washington Post.
This court decision was celebrated by the two advocacy groups that brought the case to court: the Canadian Constitutional Foundation (CCF) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA). It directly contradicts a previous federal court ruling that had found Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act justified.
Despite this ruling, the Canadian government plans to appeal. They maintain that the Emergencies Act was necessary due to a perceived threat to the nation’s security.
“It was a hard decision to take. We took it very seriously after a lot of hard work after a lot of careful deliberation. We were convinced at the time, I was convinced at the time, [that] it was the right thing to do,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Ferrland. “I remain and we remain convinced of that.”
This development comes amid Trudeau’s declining popularity, with a 64% disapproval rating reported by the Angus Reid Institute. Despite the majority of Canadians believing Trudeau should resign in 2024, he has announced no plans to do so and has previously rejected the idea.
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