Jason Kenney, the Premier of the Canadian province of Alberta, announced Saturday that he was suing the federal government of Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for their use of the Emergencies Act, calling the move “unjustified in the circumstances.”
During an interview with the Edmonton, Alberta-based Edmonton Sun, Kenney said he was filing a legal challenge in Canadian federal court in order to suspend Trudeau and the liberal government’s implementation of the act to crack down on the “Freedom Convoy” protest currently ongoing in the nation’s capital of Ottawa.
Kenney made clear that he still wanted law and order restored and did not want to be misconstrued. “The situation in Ottawa is serious. Law and order have to be restored,” said Kenney, adding that he believed protestors should not be able to blockade the center of any city, much less the nation’s capital, for any reason or cause. “But the Emergencies Act was designed to come into effect at the failure of the state,” in the event of a coup or insurrection that threatened to topple Canada’s democratic institutions. “However, there is no insurrection or coup,” he said.
The Edmonton Sun reported that the Ottawa Police Department have always had the authority to ticket, and even to arrest, drivers who are parked illegally. “Police services already have all the powers they need through provincial authority. All the tools already exist,” added Kenney, pointing out that both the blockades of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, and the U.S.-Canada border crossing in Coutts, Alberta, were resolved by the ordinary conduct of police. Neither situation required extraneous powers like the Emergencies Act. “Let’s stick to the basics here — the basics of law enforcement,” Kenney said.
Kenney took particular issue with the coercive measures imposed on financial institutions by the federal government. Those parts of the Emergencies Act that have to do with banking were “designed to interrupt terrorism financing,” said Kenney, but they are instead being used to “seize and freeze” the assets of “people whose opinions they disagree with.”
The Canadian government has already begun cracking down on the finances of Freedom Convoy supporters. A number of bank accounts connected to the protests have been frozen by their financial institutions after referrals from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as previously reported by The Daily Wire. The Daily Wire also reported that the RCMP has additionally ordered freezes on transactions from 34 cryptocurrency wallets connected to the demonstrations, as well as the GoFundMe and GiveSendGo fundraisers created to support the Freedom Convoy. If Trudeau and his allies were allowed to continue using their Emergencies Act powers to crack down on political dissent, “it sets a very dangerous precedent,” Kenney said.
Kenney also took issue with Trudeau’s personal conduct during the protests. He told the Edmonton Sun that during a teleconference with provincial leaders last week, six of the ten premiers pleaded with Trudeau not to invoke the Emergencies Act, but Trudeau did it anyway. Trudeau also “provoked” the truckers by implementing the cross-border mandate. “There was no defensible medical reason to require them to be vaccinated,” said Kenney. Then Trudeau made things worse by vilifying the protestors as a “fringe minority,” and as racists and sexists.
Kenney said he did not expect other provinces to join the suit, but he hoped they would.