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MP Blaine Calkins: use of Emergency Act was ‘gross overreach of power’

Federal Court ruling on use of the act during ‘Freedom Convoy’ handed down earlier this week
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Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins introducing a bill in the House of Commons in January, 2024. (Image from Facebook)

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins reaffirmed his opposition to the federal government’s decision to implement the Emergency Act during the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest after the Federal Court announced its ruling earlier this week.

On Jan. 23, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley said the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act was unreasonable and led to violation of the constitutional right of free expression.

“I said it before and I’ll say it again: The Emergency Act in 2022 was a gross overreach of power,” said Calkins in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

“Today’s court ruling backs this up, showing the Liberal-NDP government crossed the line by suspending Charter rights. We can’t let lies be used to strip away our rights and freedoms. This is a wake-up call we need to take seriously.”

In the midst of the protest in downtown Ottawa in February, 2022, the House of Commons debated on, and voted to confirm, the use of the act 185 to 151. The Liberals and NDP were in support, while the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois voted against the motion.

READ MORE: Emergencies Act ruling reopens emotional debate two years after huge protests

Calkin’s post includes a video dated Feb. 21, 2022, in which Calkins is addressing Parliament.

“Twenty months ago we went from wash your hands and stay home to flatten the curve, to vaccine procurement bungling, to get vaccinated or you can’t travel, get vaccinated and still spend two weeks in a hotel against your will when you return to your home country to get vaccinated or you lose your job, get vaccinated or you don’t even get employment insurance,”said Calkins.

“And now the imposition of this act, for the government to hunt down and seize the assets of Canadians based on intelligence from illegally-hacked data sources of financial transactions. This is gross overreach of power.”

The implementation of the act included regulation and prohibition of public assemblies, the designation of secure places, direction to banks to freeze assets and a ban on support for participants.

Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Justice Mickey Amery issued a statement in response to the decision.

“Since day one Alberta has been clear that the federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act during the COVID-19 pandemic violated the constitutionally-guaranteed rights of Albertans and gave the federal government the ability to seize property without due process of law …

“The orders infringed upon the rights of Albertans, and Canadians, to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

“This is another example of the Federal Court ruling against the federal government’s unconstitutional practices. Whether it’s this court decision or their defeat on plastics or the Impact Assessment Act, it is clear the federal government simply does not understand or respect the Constitution of Canada.”

The statement further said they were “disappointed” to hear the federal government plans to appeal the decision, saying, the unnecessary use of the Emergencies Act “set a dark and dangerous precedent.”

“If the federal government will not acknowledge that fact, Alberta will continue to champion the charter rights of Albertans and all Canadians.”

- With files from the Canadian Press