Alberta will launch a court challenge of the federal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act, says the province’s premier.
This weekend, Premier Jason Kenney said the invocation of the act is unnecessary, disproportionate, violates natural justice, intrudes into provincial jurisdiction and creates a dangerous precedent.
“As we’ve demonstrated here in Alberta at Coutts and Ontario did at the Windsor Ambassador Bridge, provincial law enforcement authorities are able to deal with illegal road blockades,” Kenney said in a Twitter video.
Kenney said law and order “must prevail” regardless of the cause people stand for.
“Folks in this country have the right peacefully and lawfully to protest. And I encourage people who feel strongly about vaccine mandates (and) public health restrictions to do that legally and peacefully,” he said.
On top of launching a court challenge, Alberta will consider applying as an intervener to support the Canadian Liberties Association the Canadian Constitution Foundation, Kenney said.
“We need to take action to defend, yes the law and order, but also civil liberties and our constitution in Canada. Alberta will be doing just that,” he said.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said using the Emergencies Act is a measure of last resort to bring an end to the blockades that have affected Canadians for nearly three weeks now.
“We did it to protect families and small businesses, to protect jobs and the economy,” he said.
“We did it because the situation could not be dealt with under any other law in Canada.”
This was the first time the law has been invoked since it was introduced in 1988.
Trudeau said everyone is tired of COVID-19 and protests expressing displeasure with the government’s decisions on how to handle the pandemic are not a problem. He added the extraordinary powers under the act are being used only because of the illegal blockade of Canadian streets and critical infrastructure funded in part by foreign entities.
Interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen said her party does not support the use of the act because the government has not proven the demonstrations pose a serious threat to Canada’s sovereignty, security or territorial integrity and couldn’t be dealt with under existing laws.
Bergen is highly critical of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh for supporting the use of the act and says history will not judge that decision kindly.