Globe & Mail: 'Justin Trudeau’s government has not provided compelling evidence that the convoy protest in Ottawa could not have been adequately dealt with under provincial authority, with or without federal help, as occurred at the Ambassador Bridge and at the border crossing at Coutts, Alta. Nor has it been convincingly shown that existing provincial or federal laws were not adequate to the task – enabling the co-ordination of police forces, the seizure of funds or the removal of occupiers, for example. It may be that the Ontario emergency law did not empower the province to “require” tow truck drivers to provide assistance, but that surely is a flimsy basis for declaring a national emergency.
'In the case of a “public order emergency,” which was approved by a vote in Parliament on Feb. 21, there is the added requirement that the emergency must amount to a “threat to the security of Canada” as defined in the CSIS Act. The statutory definition of a “threat to the security of Canada” encompasses “acts of serious violence against persons or property for the purpose of achieving a political, religious or ideological objective within Canada.” While there is no question that myriad grievances were voiced in Ottawa, there is no evidence that “acts of serious violence” were perpetrated for the purpose of achieving the protesters’ objectives.
'Taken together, these two definitions impose a heavy onus on government to justify the invocation of public order emergency powers – a burden that has not been convincingly met in the case of the Ottawa protests. It seems that, despite its creators’ best intentions, the carefully crafted Emergencies Act remains vulnerable to the urges of power hoarders.'