TORONTO: The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) has filed an urgent application for judicial review of the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act. The filing is available here.
“The Emergencies Act has never been invoked before. Over the decades since it was passed, Canada weathered terrorist attacks, economic hardship, and an unprecedented global health pandemic without ever needing to resort to the incredible powers contained in the Emergencies Act. There was no reason for the federal government to trigger this extraordinary legislation, and the criteria in the legislation itself are not met. That’s why we are challenging the government in court,” said CCF Litigation Director, Christine Van Geyn.
On February 21, the House of Commons ratified the government’s decision to trigger the Emergencies Act in response to protests in Ottawa and border blockades. This happened despite the fact that the protests and blockades had already been cleared.
“The Emergencies Act can profoundly affect Canada’s democracy and creates grave risk of executive overreach. Under the Emergencies Act, vast legislative authority is delegated to cabinet, including the power to create new criminal offences and police powers without recourse to Parliament, without advance notice, and without public debate. That’s why the Act has such high and stringent criteria that must be met in order to be triggered. These criteria that have not been met, and which makes the use of the Act by this government illegal”, concluded Van Geyn.
The CCF has asked for this application for judicial review to be heard on an urgent basis, and also asked the court to join their proceeding with another challenge that has been brought by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
The CCF is represented by lawyers Sujit Choudhry and Janani Shanmuganathan.
Members of the public who are interested in supporting the case can make a tax deductible charitable donation at theccf.ca/emergenciesact/
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