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'It's a sledgehammer': Emergencies Act vote scheduled as Alberta politicians react


Parliament will vote Monday evening in the House of Commons on whether to invoke the Emergencies Act.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that he is hopeful all members will vote in favour of its invocation, calling it ‘the responsible thing to do.’

“Just in the past (few) days there was a convoy from Fort McMurray destined for Ottawa that was largely turned away at the Manitoba/(Ontario) border (boundary)  based on the laws and the powers in the Emergencies Act,” Trudeau said.

“This is not something that we want to imagine continuing indefinitely in Canada, we hope to only keep it in place for a number more days. We will re-evaluate every single day.”


Conservative MP for Calgary-Nosehill, Michelle Rempel-Garner said Trudeau is out of touch with Canadians.

“The use of the Emergencies Act is you know, it's a sledgehammer,” said Rempel-Garner.

“He said anybody who's voting against the bill doesn't trust the government. I think he's missing the point here. The government has not provided a case in this instance, to justify or rationalize trust in the measures.”

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the province will be challenging the federal government's use of the Emergencies Act in court.

The premier’s office said that invoking the Act is a “dangerous and unnecessary overreach” by the federal government, with the support of the federal NDP.

File photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

"(Former NDP leader) Tommy Douglas would be ashamed of the NDP's complicity,” said Kenney spokesperson Justin Brattinga.

“It will be interesting to see how the Alberta NDP vote on the premier’s upcoming motion in the legislature condemning Trudeau’s invocation of this legislation.”

Alberta’s NDP said it plans to issue a response.


One political expert feels Kenney’s court challenge is just petty politics.

“It's intended to signal standing up against the federal government and against Justin Trudeau and essentially sort of advocating for Alberta in the entire country,” said Lori Williams of Mount Royal University.

“Jason Kenney would like to be seen as the champion of Albertans against the powers of the federal government.”

Mount Royal University political science professor Lori Williams

However she believes not much will be done about it in court.

“That's a really difficult argument to hold right now, especially in light of the fact that on February 5th, they (Alberta) requested federal help in dealing with the Coutts border blockade,” said Williams.

Liberal Calgary-Skyview MP George Chahal he suggests the premier is wasting time and money.

“Alberta taxpayers dollars being wasted on a legal challenge that the (Alberta) government wanted this support,” said Chahal.

“On one end asking for help and support and the other end challenging it, it's hypocrisy.”

Calgary MP George Chahal is hosting a job fair Saturday at the Genesis Centre in northeast Calgary.(file)

Trudeau told reporters that the continuation of the invocation of the act following the removal of blockades and protesters nationwide is to compel tow truck companies and drivers to remove vehicles used in the blockades, something he believes companies were willing to do under the Emergencies Act.

However, the opposition Conservatives say they are still unclear why the Act needs to remain as protesters have either been arrested or dispersed and retreated home.

“The biggest problem, I think is in not knowing fully what the basis of the invocation was, or fully how those powers have been used,” said Williams.

“We're hearing a few stories here and there about overreach. If those turn out to be well founded, then certainly there will be questions raised and they'll have to be answered.”

Members will vote on the act at 6 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. Top Stories

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