June 14th, 2024

Quick Quotes: Canada reacts to report that says use of Emergencies Act was justified

By The Canadian Press on February 17, 2023.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Friday, Feb.17, 2023. Nearly one year after the "Freedom Convoy" protests took place at Canadian border crossings and in the nation's capitol, an independent commission released a report saying that the government's use of the Emergency Act to break up those protests were justified.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – Nearly one year after the “Freedom Convoy” demonstrators blocked traffic at Canadian border crossings and occupied the nation’s capital, an independent commission released a report saying the government’s use of the Emergency Act to quell those protests were justified. In his report, Justice Paul Rouleau said lawful protests descended into lawlessness, culminating in a national emergency.

Here are some reactions from across Canada on Rouleau’s findings and last year’s protests:

“We will continue to listen to all voices across this wonderfully diverse country that isn’t just diverse geographically, or culturally, or in origins, but also in perspectives. But listening to each other goes in both directions. We hear their skepticism around science. They need to also hear our belief in science.” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“People were threatened, harassed and abused in their communities. Workers trying to feed their families lost wages because they were forced to miss shifts when the border closure forced businesses to close. The report makes clear that this situation – and the response to it from all levels of government and policing – was unacceptable.” – New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh

“Alberta’s government maintains that the federal government’s consultation with provinces was inadequate and that unnecessarily invoking the Emergencies Act set a dangerous precedent. The decision to invoke the act violated the constitutionally guaranteed rights of Albertans and gave the federal government the ability to seize property without due process of law.” – Alberta Justice Minister Tyler Shandro

“Saskatchewan’s position has always been that invoking the act was unnecessary, and that appropriate and effective action to deal with the protests and blockades last year could have been taken under existing federal, provincial and municipal laws.” – Saskatchewan Justice Minister Bronwyn Eyre

“I was there. It was a peaceful and joyful protest by patriotic Canadians. There was no justification at all to invoke the act. It was done illegally, that’s what Justice Rouleau should have concluded if he had done an honest investigation rather than a partisan one.” – People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2023.

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