Ottawa, ON – Cathay Wagantall, Member of Parliament for Yorkton—Melville, has condemned the endorsement of the Emergencies Act by a majority of MPs in the House of Commons. On Monday evening, the House of Commons voted to continue the use of emergency powers by a vote of 185 (in favour) to 151 (opposed). While the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois voted against the motion, the NDP supported the governing Liberals.
“The activation of the Emergencies Act is a clear admission of failed national leadership,” said Wagantall.
“I had no hesitation in voting against it. Even though all border blockades have been shut down and downtown Ottawa is clear of vehicles, the Prime Minister insists on keeping extraordinary powers. This should concern every Canadian.”
Citing a ‘public order emergency’, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau activated the never-before-used Emergencies Act on February 14th in response to ongoing protests opposed to vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions. The Act gives unprecedented power to banks and the RCMP to freeze assets and deny insurance to those involved in protests. Wagantall believes that Canadians have a right to peaceful protest without fear of losing their savings and income.
“This kind of government overreach has never been used before; not during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, not when ISIS-inspired individuals murdered two servicemen and stormed our Parliament, and not when protesters opposed to energy development shut down rail lines,” she said.
“The government invoked the Emergencies Act because peaceful protestors have been voicing their concerns over punitive COVID measures that hurt our economy and demonize hard-working people.”
Yesterday’s vote allows the federal government to continue its use of emergency powers for the remainder of a thirty-day period or until the House of Commons votes to revoke the emergency order. While Conservative Leader Candice Bergen has vowed to introduce a motion to that effect at the earliest opportunity, the Liberals have not taken an extension off the table.
“With the vote barely over, the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness raised the possibility of extending the emergency measures beyond the current thirty-day window,” noted Wagantall.
“This government cannot be trusted. Conservatives will continue to fight this unprecedented government overreach.”
Wagantall believes that the blame for the Emergencies Act lies squarely on the shoulders of the Prime Minister and that, from the start of the nationwide protests, he has chosen to only inflame divisions.
“Just like his travel mandate for the unvaccinated, Trudeau is punishing Canadians who do not cower to his mandates by attacking their civil liberties and the ability to provide for themselves and their families. Through the Emergencies Act, he is deciding which protests are legitimate and which are not. This sets a dangerous precedent for future acts of protest and civil disobedience within Canada. It must be rejected.”
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For more information:
Office of Cathay Wagantall, MP