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The Fallout from Trudeau’s Declaration of ‘Martial Law’ Begins: Police Chiefs Begin to Resign in Protest

Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked the Emergencies Act to suspend civil rights and impose a de facto state of ‘martial law’ due to the Freedom Convoy protests. The Canadian Prime Minister made the announcement on Monday.

“We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue,” Trudeau said in the speech, claiming, “serious challenges to law enforcement’s ability to effectively enforce the law.”

However, a number of premiers have pushed back against Trudeau for invoking the Emergencies Act, stating the law enforcement have sufficient tools to handle the peaceful protests.

“The illegal blockades must end, but police already have sufficient tools to enforce the law and clear the blockades, as they did over the weekend in Windsor,” tweeted Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.

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“Therefore, Saskatchewan does not support the Trudeau government invoking the Emergencies Act. If the federal government does proceed with this measure, I would hope it would only be invoked in provinces that request it, as the legislation allows,” he added.

“I am proud of Manitoba’s law enforcement officials & have full confidence in them to protect our communities. The proposal from the federal government to use the Emergencies Act is not helpful to the situation at the Emerson Border,” Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson wrote.

“Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told reporters that he told Trudeau earlier on Monday that he would prefer if the Emergencies Act did not apply to Alberta, and that such a move was unnecessary in the province,” Fox News reported.

“Quebec Premier Francois Legault also warned that he did not want the Emergencies Act to be applied to his province, warning that he thought such a measure would be divisive,” the report added.

“It’s not time to throw fuel on the fire,” he said.

Now, the Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has resigned over Prime Minister Trudeau taking control of the police force.

“The Ottawa Police Chief has resigned after Trudeau took control of police forces last night,” journalist Keean Bexte reported on Tuesday.

The AP attempted to frame the police chief’s resignation as coming from ‘criticism.’ It was due, however, to the chief’s disagreement with Trudeau’s mishandling of the Freedom Convoy protest.

According to Global News, “Sloly joined the force in October 2019 following his time with the Toronto Police Service, where he was deputy chief of chief for seven years. He served with the Toronto Police Service for a total of 27 years.”

“In response to calls to divert municipal funding from the police to social services, Sloly had previously acknowledged the need for ‘systemic change’ in policing,” the report added.

“Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said it is time for police to begin using their broad authority conferred under Canada’s Emergencies Act, which allows the government to ban the blockades and begin towing away trucks,” the AP reported.

“We need law enforcement to take the reins, to utilize the Emergencies Act and to enforce,” Mendecino said after Trudeau’s announcement. “We have given new powers to police and we need them to do the job now.”

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association condemned the authoritarian crackdown against the protesters.

“The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act,” the CCLA said on Twitter. “This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the Act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met.”

“The Emergencies Act can only be invoked when a situation ‘seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada’ & when the situation ‘cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada’,” the CCLA went on.

“Governments regularly deal with difficult situations, and do so using powers granted to them by democratically elected representatives,” the CCLA added. “Emergency legislation should not be normalized. It threatens our democracy and our civil liberties.”

On Sunday, Canadian police have begun mass arrests of Freedom Convoy protesters who had successfully blocked the critical Ambassador Bridge for nearly a week. But now the Canadian government has a whole new problem.

The Windsor Police announced the operation to arrest the Freedom Convoy protesters on Sunday morning.

The police also announced that vehicles were being towed and that Canadians should avoid the area.

The military is poised to intervene against the truckers, according to Canadian media reports. Trudeau’s arbitrary invocation of the Emergencies Act, rather than recognize the fundamental human rights of Canadian citizens, thus effectively suspends the Constitution, the Charter and even the International Covenant on Civil Rights.

Furthermore, Canada is going to be expanding anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules to cover the Freedom Cover protests.

On Monday, Ontario announced that it would be ending the vaccine passports on March 1st, joining four other provinces that have agreed to lift Covid measures due to the Freedom Convoy protests: Saskatchewan, Alberta, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Trudeau invoking the Emergencies Act is thus not only authoritarian, but entirely unnecessary.

Western democracies around the world have begun to recognize scientific reality and are withdrawing the socially divisive and medically irrelevant vaccine mandates. It’s now time for Canada to stop tearing itself apart and do the same.

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.