Canada Votes on Decision to Invoke Emergencies Act

Canada Votes on Decision to Invoke Emergencies Act

The Canadian parliament has voted on Prime Minister ’s unprecedented decision to invoke the .

As CBC News reports:

A motion affirming the Liberal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act passed a crucial House of Commons vote Monday, ensuring the expansive powers contained in the act remain in use by authorities thanks to parliamentary support from the New Democrats. 

While the powers contained in the Emergency Act took effect immediately, the Liberal government needed to seek approval for its decision to invoke the act from the House of Commons within seven days. If that vote had failed, the emergency declaration would have been revoked. 

Conservative MPs in the House booed and shouted “shame” when the first NDP MPs stood up to vote in favour of the motion. The Conservatives, however, applauded Bloc Québécois MPs when they stood to support the Conservatives.

The Liberals cheered loudly, drowning out heckles from the Conservatives when Green MP Elizabeth May voted in favour of the motion, which passed by a vote of 185 to 151.

Trudeau invoked the Act one week ago to quell the protests against his sweeping public health measures.

Despite clearing the blockades that paralyzed downtown Ottawa and multiple border crossings, Trudeau maintains that the continuation of the Act is still necessary.

The vote followed a contentious debate in the House of Commons over the necessity of suspending civil liberties.

The Emergencies Act outlines four kinds of emergencies justifying its use. They are “espionage or sabotageforeign-influenced activitiesthreats or use of acts of serious violence for political, religious or ideological objectives; and covert, unlawful acts intended to undermine or overthrow the constitutionally established government.”

The statute has given Trudeau the extraordinary power to prohibit public assembly, travel and use of specific property, which he has used to great effect over the past week.

Before today’s vote, the Conservative Party and Bloc Quebecois said its members would not vote to invoke the Emergencies Act. Liberals argue the Act is necessary to “restore order and keep people safe,” as Trudeau reiterated earlier Monday. Meanwhile, the New Democratic Party said it would reluctantly support it.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, widely considered the party’s next leader, accused Trudeau of manufacturing a crisis for political gain.

“They have attempted to amplify and take advantage of every pain, every fear, every tragedy that has struck throughout this pandemic in order to divide one person against another and replace the people’s freedom with the government’s power,” Poilievre warned.

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