On Monday, Feb. 14, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s state-funded media outlet, reported that Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, told his caucus that he plans on invoking the “never-before-used Emergencies Act to give the federal government extra powers to handle the protests across the country.”
Reportedly, Trudeau will inform the provincial premiers of his decision this morning however he says there are no plans to deploy the military.
The Emergencies Act replaced Canada’s War Measures Act in the 1980s and defines a national emergency as a temporary “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it.”
Immediately following the announcement social media platforms lit up with prominent Canadians speaking out about the intended move.
Ezra Levant, founder of Canada’s Rebel News, who has embedded his reporters in the protests in Ottawa and at the border blockade at the Coutts border crossing in Alberta told his 338-thousand followers on Twitter, “Pierre Trudeau [Justin Trudeau’s late father] invoked the War Measures Act after the FLQ terrorist group started kidnapping, murdering and putting bombs in mailboxes. Justin Trudeau is invoking the same powers to deal with peaceful protests that he happens to hate. He is a thin-skinned authoritarian bully.”
Maxime Bernier, leader of the relatively new People’s Party of Canada, that garnered close to five percent of the popular vote in the last federal election, asked his followers on Twitter, “Will the fascist psychopath declare war on peaceful Canadians or will he de-escalate and end the crisis?”
Theo Fleury, former NHL player and two time Olympic Gold medalist told his 172-thousand followers on Twitter, “When you have to invoke the Emergencies Act you know you’ve lost because it’s the ultimate power grab and if that’s all you got left to retain power you’ve been defeated by the people. May God have mercy on your soul.”
The scathing criticism comes after a Maru Public Opinion poll indicated that only 16 percent of respondents said they would vote for Trudeau based on his actions over the past two weeks. Only 29 percent said Trudeau had acted “like a prime minister should,” and 48 percent concluded that he was “not up to the job of being prime minister.”
John Wright, executive vice-president of Maru Public Opinion said, “The last time I’ve seen numbers even close to this were in the final days of Brian Mulroney. I think this could cost him [Trudeau] his job.”
“On the ground, at least, the Canadian public sees that our democracy is at threat and the very institutions that are supposed to be doing things about it are largely impotent,” Wright said, adding, “I don’t think the prime minister gets it.”