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Freedom Convoy

Ottawa spent “excessive” $2.2 million fighting Emergencies Act challenge

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News release from the Canadian Constitution Foundation

Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley found in January that the February 2022 invocation of the Emergencies Act to deal with the Freedom Convoy protests was unreasonable because there was no national emergency nor threats to security of Canada as were required to invoke the Act.

The Canadian Constitution Foundation is shocked to learn that Ottawa spent more than $2 million of taxpayer funds unsuccessfully fighting the legal challenge launched by the CCF and others to the Trudeau government’s illegal invocation of the Emergencies Act in 2022.

The $2,231,000 figure was revealed by the Department of Justice in response to an inquiry from Conservative civil liberties critic Marilyn Gladu.

The hefty figure was first reported in the Globe and Mail. Experienced counsel told the Globe that the amount spent was “excessive.”

The number includes the cost that the government spent fighting the judicial review of the invocation decision in Federal Court. It does not include the cost of Ottawa’s appeal, which is proceeding at the Federal Court of Appeal.

Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley found in January that the February 2022 invocation of the Emergencies Act to deal with the Freedom Convoy protests was unreasonable because there was no national emergency nor threats to security of Canada as were required to invoke the Act.

Justice Mosley also found that regulations made as a result of the invocation violated freedom of expression because they captured people who “simply wanted to join in the protest by standing on Parliament Hill carrying a placard” and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures because bank accounts were frozen without any sort of judicial pre-authorization.

CCF Litigation Director Joanna Baron was dismayed to learn how much Ottawa spent.

“Civil liberties groups like the CCF rely on regular Canadians who care about rights and freedoms to fund this type of public interest litigation,” she said.

“The fact that the government seems willing to spend whatever it takes to defend its unlawful decision shows what we’re up against when we fight to protect the constitution and the rule of law.”

The CCF is calling on the federal government to drop the appeal of Justice Mosley’s decision.

Canadians who agree with the decision are encouraged to sign the CCF’s online petition calling on the government to drop the appeal. The CCF is also asking Canadians to consider making a tax-deductible charitable donation to the CCF that will assist with fighting the appeal.

The CCF is represented by Sujit Choudhry of Haki Chambers and Janani Shanmuganathan of Goddard & Shanmuganathan.

COVID-19

Trudeau government only sought legal advice after Emergencies Act was invoked, records indicate

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Canada’s Freedom Convoy in Ottawa                                                                      Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

The two-page Memorandum For The Attorney General was dated February 15, 2022, and was written by the deputy director of prosecutions. The date of the memorandum is significant, as it comes after Trudeau had invoked the EA on February 14.

A Conservative MP’s request for information has revealed that the cabinet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waited until after it had invoked the Emergencies Act (EA), which was done to take down the peaceful Freedom Convoy, to get legal advice from Canada’s Attorney General on whether its use was lawful. 

As noted in a recent Blacklocks’s Reporter article, Access To Information records obtained by Conservative MP Arnold Viersen from the office of the Attorney General confirm what many MPs have been suspicious of for years, that Trudeau’s use of the EA was not really warranted.  

“I filed an Access To Information request for the memorandum on the Emergencies Act sent to the Attorney General from the Public Prosecution Service,” MP Viersen said in a statement to the media. 

“What did they advise the Attorney General? We will never know because Justin Trudeau censored it.” 

The documents, despite being censored, do reveal that the two-page Memorandum For The Attorney General was dated February 15, 2022, and was written by the deputy director of prosecutions. The date of the memorandum is significant, as it comes after Trudeau had invoked the EA on February 14.

Trudeau’s Attorney General Arif Virani, during testimony on February 28, said that there was a legal opinion offered regarding whether the use of the EA would be justified, but that its contents had to remain confidential.

This claim of secret legal advice has never been substantiated.

In early 2022, the Freedom Convoy saw thousands of Canadians from coast to coast come to Ottawa to demand an end to COVID mandates in all forms. Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Trudeau’s government enacted the EA on February 14, 2022. Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23.   

Earlier this year, Canada’s Federal Court announced that the use of the EA by the Trudeau government was a direct violation of the nation’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and thus was “not justified.”   

The Trudeau government has since appealed the court’s decision.   

I do not ‘believe for a second’ the ‘threshold’ was met to invoke EA  

Conservative MP Glen Motz told a February 28 hearing of the Special Joint Committee on the Declaration of Emergency that he did not believe for a “second” that the “broader interpretation even existed,” in terms of the legality of the EA’s use. 

“I still believe more strongly today than I did in 2022 that the circumstances to invoke the Emergencies Act were not met,” he said, noting that “The threshold was not met.” 

“I agree with Justice Mosley in his decision that it was in fact illegal and unconstitutional,” he said.  

The EA controversially allowed the government to freeze the bank accounts of protesters, conscript tow truck drivers, and arrest people for participating in assemblies the government deemed illegal.   

Before Mosley’s ruling, an investigation into the use of the EA, as per Canadian law, was launched by Trudeau. The investigation, titled the Public Order Emergency Commission, was headed by Liberal-leaning Judge Paul Rouleau. Unsurprisingly, the commission exonerated Trudeau’s use of the EA.   

During the clear-out of protesters after the EA was put in place, one protester, an elderly lady, was trampled by a police horse, and one conservative female reporter was beaten by police and shot with a tear gas canister.   

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported that Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu uncovered that the federal government of Trudeau spent $2.2 million in taxpayer money in a failed attempt to try and stop court challenges filed against it for enacting the EA to stop the peaceful Freedom Convoy.  

Freedom Convoy leaders Tamara Lich and Chris Barber have been in a ongoing legal battle with federal officials.   

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Freedom Convoy

Trudeau’s use of Emergencies Act has cost taxpayers $73 million thus far

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Expenses for the Emergencies Act, the use of which a federal court ruled ‘not justified,’ included $17.5 million for a judicial inquiry, $400,000 for charter flights and $1.3 million for hotel rooms for out-of-town RCMP officers.

The Liberal government’s use of the Emergencies Act against the 2022 Freedom Convoy has cost Canadian taxpayers over $73 million thus far. 

According to newly released records obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s enactment of the Emergencies Act, the use of which has since been ruled “not justified” by a federal court, to drive out Freedom Convoy protestors from Ottawa in 2022, cost the Department of Public Safety $73,550,568.  

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the $73 million figure was part of records released by the department at the request of Conservative MP Ziad Aboultaif, and despite its high number, is not the final account.

“With regard to enactment of the Emergencies Act in 2022, what was the cost burden for the government?” Conservative MP Ziad Aboultaif asked.  

“Cost associated with fiscal year 2023-2024 are still to be determined,” the department responded.  

According to the Department of Public Safety, most of the public safety expenses were attributed to local authorities in Ottawa and Windsor, Ontario.  

“It should be noted additional funding allocated by the government to Ottawa and its partners as well as Windsor were not specifically as a result of the Emergencies Act invocation but meant to compensate both municipalities for the extraordinary expenses incurred during and after the protracted blockades,” the report said. 

Other expenses included $17.5 million for a judicial inquiry, $400,000 for charter flights, and $1.3 million for hotel rooms for out-of-town RCMP officers.  

The costs were incurred after Trudeau enacted the Act on February 14, 2022 to shut down the Freedom Convoy protest which took place in Ottawa.  

At the time, the use of the Act was justified by claims that the protest was “violent,” a claim that has still gone unsubstantiated.

In fact, videos of the protest against COVID regulations and vaccine mandates show Canadians from across the country gathering outside Parliament engaged in dancing, street hockey, and other family-friendly activities.

Indeed, the only acts of violence caught on video were carried out against the protesters after the Trudeau government directed police to end the protest. One such video showed an elderly women being trampled by a police horse.   

Recently, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley ruled that Trudeau was “not justified” in invoking the Emergencies Act.

However, the Trudeau government has doubled down on its heavy-handed response to citizen protesters, filing an appeal with the Federal Court of Appeal – a court where 10 of the 15 sitting judges were appointed by Trudeau.

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