Monday, July 15, 2024
Freedom Convoy Trucks in Ottawa, February 2022. Photo: Donna Laframboise

CCF in court over Emergencies Act arguing that the federal government should reach a different conclusion than POEC did

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Christine Van Geyn, Litigation Director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation Photo: Twitter

Christine Van Geyn, Litigation Director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation arrived in Ottawa with CCF team members involved in their challenge to the government’s use of the Emergencies Act in February, 2022.

The hearing will take place April 3rd, 4th and 5th.

“We re challenging the federal government’s use the emergencies act as an unjustified use of the Act, arguing that the actual criteria in the statute was not met. We’re also arguing that the regulations under that legislation, like the freezing of bank accounts, as though was an unconstitutional use of those regulations,” Van Geyn explains.
“We’ve had the Rouleaux commission, which did not have a formal ruling, but they issued a report. It was very a disappointing report, which found that the use of that legislation was justified, but the report did say that ‘another reasonable decision maker could reach a different conclusion.’ We are arguing that the Federal Court should reach such a different conclusion.”

In his report, Commissioner Rouleaux concluded that, largely due to failures in policing in Ottawa, Cabinet had reasonable grounds to conclude that a public order emergency existed in Canada. He 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, the CCF argues.

Court proceedings are available to view by Zoom link, however, you must register in order to view: