Freedom Convoy protestors take the feds to court over 'illegal' invocation of the Emergencies Act

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau controversially invoked the Emergencies Act two years ago today. Thankfully, the Federal Court of Canada saw reason, ruling against the unprecedented use of martial law.

Joining Ezra Levant for a long-form interview on the matter is Keith Wilson, lawyer for 11 Freedom Convoy protesters, who are suing the feds for their illegal use of 'war measures' to squash peaceful protest. 

"They froze my clients' bank accounts, they canceled their debit cards, they blocked them from getting access to cash," said Wilson. Convoy supporters had 267 bank accounts and 170 bitcoin wallets temporarily seized with an estimated $7.8 million in holdings.

"They completely isolated them from society and put them in incredibly precarious position that resulted in a run on the banks and international condemnation of the tyrannical behavior of the Trudeau government," he added, clarifying they had no prior warning.

"The plaintiffs have five children and four grandchildren they could not care for ... [of whom one had] a severe genetic based heart issue ... [that] needed on an emergency basis to get a prescription filled," said Wilson in speaking to the severity of the situation.

In mid-January, the Trudeau Liberals received devastating news after the Federal Court of Canada ruled their invocation of the Emergencies Act as "unconstitutional." Soon after, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, announced Ottawa would appeal the decision. 

"The idea of collective punishment is not a concept in Canadian law — it's not a concept in Western law," continued Wilson. "That's a that's a barbaric form of punishment. And that's what the Government of Canada chose."

Civil rights lawyers successfully argued it usurped their clients' freedom of expression and exposed them to unreasonable search and seizure. "The Emergencies Act is an Act of last resort," contends Ewa Krajewska, counsel with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA). "It should not be invoked for convenience or expediency."

At the time, then-justice minister David Lametti claimed the Emergencies Act was a "proportionate measure to restore order" against the "illegal blockades and occupations [that] threaten the safety of Canadians."

Contrary to that narrative, judicial reviews ruled that all the Convoy arrests appeared to be for "minor offences," except for several made in Coutts, Alberta. And Justice Centre lawyer Hatim Kheir confirmed the blockades in Coutts and Windsor immediately cleared upon learning weapons had been present — before the Act had been invoked.

However, no evidence suggested that more tailored restrictions on protests would not have had the desired outcome. Still, Lametti stood by the temporary measures, claiming they were sanctioned by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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