North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act as a means of ending the prolonged Freedom Convoy at Parliament Hill and border blockades across Canada.
Since Jan. 28, protesters have been crowding the downtown core of Ottawa in protest of COVID-19 mandates. Many locals have denounced the protesters’ presence as an occupation, while the protesters insist on their right to a peaceful assembly.
Elsewhere in Canada, in places like Coutts, Alberta, border blockades have resulted in numerous arrests.
On Friday, Arnold issued a statement in which he says he supported a Conservative proposal in the House of Commons that presented a “reasonable approach to help lower the temperatures across Canada” by providing what some of the protesters have demanded from the beginning: a plan and timeline for ending federal mandates and restrictions.
“Rather than working with all 338 Members of Parliament to produce a plan for Canadians, Liberal and NDP members defeated the proposal flat out and the Prime Minister took the unprecedented step of invoking the Emergencies Act,” Arnold said.
Arnold said it’s in the interest of all Canadians for law, order and democracy to prevail.
“I call on all to support quick and peaceful resolutions to any blockades,” he said. “It is also in the best interest of Canadians that the Prime Minister and Parliament listen to (the protesters) and develop a plan to move Canada forward towards the recovery that Canadians want and need.”
The Emergencies Act, which grants the federal government temporary additional powers, hasn’t been used since it replaced the War Measures Act in 1988. The last time the War Measures Act was used was in 1970, when then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau invoked it in response to the FLQ kidnapping crisis.