The Canadian Constitution Foundations‘ challenge to the Emergencies Act invocation hearing is scheduled for April 3, 4 and 5th 2023.
If you wish to view the hearings online, the Federal Court is requiring online observers to register on Zoom online. You must register to obtain your own link to the hearing; sharing of links is prohibited. Scroll down to the “Ottawa” hearings on April 3rd, find “CCF vs Attorney General of Canada” and click the icon that looks like a pencil to register yourself.
The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), which participated as a party in the Rouleau Commission hearings and launched a legal challenge to the federal government’s February 2022 invocation of the Emergencies Act, was disappointed with the Commission’s report and many of its findings. In his report, the Commissioner concludes that, largely due to failures in policing in Ottawa, Cabinet had reasonable grounds to conclude that a public order emergency existed in Canada.
Rouleau made this finding despite evidence from the Director of CSIS that the protests in Ottawa and across Canada did not rise to the level of threats to the security of Canada, as required by the Act. There was also overwhelming consensus from police officers who testified before the Commission that existing criminal laws would have been sufficient to manage the protests.
The government refused to publicly disclose its legal basis for invoking the Act—reportedly, a legal opinion—by asserting solicitor-client privilege. The Commission therefore lacked a firm basis for concluding that Cabinet’s decision was reasonable.
As the Commissioner himself confirmed, his report is not binding in a court of law.
The CCF is bringing its own legal challenge April 3, 4th and 5th. According to the CCF’s litigation director Christine Van Geyn, their argument will focus on questions around why the threshold for invoking the Emergencies Act was not met.