The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) called on the federal government to revoke the declaration of emergency.
In a letter written to the government and released before the House of Commons vote, the CCLA pointed out the blockade in Ottawa has been cleared, while various border crossings were opened prior to – and without reliance on – the invocation of federal emergency powers.
“The government’s own proclamation of emergency was clear: they claimed that they needed to invoke the extraordinary Emergencies Act to deal with the blockades. Those blockades are now dismantled. The sweeping national emergency powers they enacted should be dismantled as well,” said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
According to the CCLA the broad grants of power given to the police carry a significant risk of abuse.
“At this time, the proper course of action for the government is to revoke the declaration of emergency. If they fail to do so, members of parliament will be required to attend a vote in the House of Commons to decide if the emergency proclamation should stand. We would urge them to vote against the proclamation and are asking all parties to allow a free vote so that every elected representative is able to vote their conscience,” stated Mendelsohn Aviv.
“Let’s be clear; every Canadian is currently subject to the emergency orders. The orders limit peaceful assembly across the country and require financial institutions to freeze bank accounts without judicial oversight. The federal government does not control how and when these laws are used. These legal powers have been placed in the hands of police officers across the country. As with all broad grants of power, the risk of abuse is significant,” she added.
Last Thursday, the CCLA announced that it plans to sue the federal government over its decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to ongoing protests and blockades.