OCLA Statement on the Government’s Use of the Emergencies Act

The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) condemns the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act (formerly the War Measures Act) to dispel peaceful protests in Canada.

Peaceful protest and civil disobedience are essential in a democratic society – without these mechanisms of peaceful expression, demonstration, and opposition there can be no democracy.

There is no national emergency caused by the Freedom Convoy protesters. Therefore, the government’s use of the Emergencies Act can only be understood as an opportunistic political act intended to eliminate protest that opposes the policies of the sitting government, to manipulate public opinion by further demonizing “the unvaccinated”, and to advance the ongoing degradation of civil liberties in Canada by setting an extreme precedent of governmental intervention to freeze or appropriate the assets of individual citizens who peacefully oppose the policies of the government of the day.

Related statements by other organizations and individuals are linked below:

The full text of Prime Minister Trudeau’s February 14, 2022, Emergencies Act announcement can be read at the link here (published by The Peterborough Examiner).

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