House of Commons to vote on government's decision to invoke Emergencies Act tonight

Feb 21 2022, 9:21 pm

A vote will take place on Monday night, finalizing whether or not Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s controversial emergency proclamation will pass through Parliament.

Liberals are making the case in the pivotal debate that the never-before-used act was a “last resort,” according to Trudeau, citing that the “situation could not be dealt with under any other law in Canada.”

“The situation is not something anyone wanted,” Trudeau said on Monday morning. “We didn’t want to use the Emergencies Act, it’s never something to turn to without serious consideration.”

The prime minister said the Act was necessary and that law enforcement agencies “relied on it,” saying the controversial enactment was “the responsible thing to do.” Trudeau said the government doesn’t plan on using the act “a minute longer” than necessary and is confident the Act will be approved by Parliament.

Opposition parties say the protests did warrant the unprecedented Emergencies Act  — which grants additional powers to the government in an effort to send the protesters home.

On Friday, Conservative interim leader Candice Bergen said the Liberal government’s move is both “historic” and “extremely disappointing” as she outlined why her party will vote against the controversial decision.

Referring to the protestors, Bergen said these “folks would have moved on had the prime minister decided he actually wanted to listen.”

Bergen says Trudeau’s decision to impose COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers fueled a fire that helped to increase tensions across the country for the better part of three months.

“Without even a single meeting with a trucker, without talking through one of their concerns, without apologizing for his insults and listening to what people have to say, without using any other tool at his disposal, he has used this overreach, this Emergencies Act, and it’s wrong,” she said.

Bergen stated that Trudeau is acting to “save his own political skin” while failing to listen to opposing views.

Opposition leaders cite the blockade that was cleared in Alberta and Southern Ontario as proof that protestors can be moved without the need for special powers.

Earlier this week, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said his party “would support it” if the Emergencies Act was brought to the House of Commons.

Singh says NDP would “withdraw support if powers were being misused.”

Bergen noted that “history will not be kind” to NDP or Liberal MPs who endorse the measure.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet told the House on Thursday that the Quebec government does not want the emergency powers used in the province, and the Bloc will vote against the measure on a federal level.

If Parliament votes against the government’s use of the act, the Emergencies Act will be repealed. Should it pass, it will remain in effect for a maximum of 30 days.

The House of Commons has 338 members, and a majority vote would need to take place in order for the Emergencies Act to be revoked. The Liberals have 159 seats, Conservatives 119, Bloc Québécois 32, NDP 25, Green Party has two, and Independent has one.

The vote is scheduled to take place on Monday at 8 pm, following a 14-hour sitting at the House.

House of Commons Sittings can be watched live on the government website.

Ty JadahTy Jadah

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