Emergencies Act passes crucial House of Commons vote with NDP support

Darren Major · CBC News · Posted: Feb 21, 2022 10:45 AM ET

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Monday. He said the decision to trigger the Emergencies Act was not one he and his government took lightly. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

A motion affirming the Liberal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act passed a crucial House of Commons vote Monday, ensuring the expansive powers contained in the act remain in use by authorities thanks to parliamentary support from the New Democrats. 

While the powers contained in the Emergency Act took effect immediately, the Liberal government needed to seek approval for its decision to invoke the act from the House of Commons within seven days. If that vote had failed, the emergency declaration would have been revoked. 

Conservative MPs in the House booed and shouted “shame” when the first NDP MPs stood up to vote in favour of the motion. The Conservatives, however, applauded Bloc Québécois MPs when they stood to support the Conservatives.

The Liberals cheered loudly, drowning out heckles from the Conservatives when Green MP Elizabeth May voted in favour of the motion, which passed by a vote of 185 to 151.

Immediately after the vote passed, interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen stood up and tried to enter a motion recalling the use of the Emergencies Act, but that motion was ruled out of order. 

Earlier in the day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended his government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to protesters occupying some streets in downtown Ottawa, saying the decision to trigger the act was not one he and his government took lightly.

“It became clear that local and provincial authorities needed more tools to restore order and keep people safe,” he said.

Trudeau was asked if the deployment of the act is still necessary, now that police have cleared the area in front of Parliament Hill. He said his government wouldn’t keep the enhanced powers provided for under the act in place “a single day longer than necessary.”

WATCH | Emergency Act extended with support from NDP:


The Liberal government was able to extend the Emergencies Act after receiving the “reluctant” support of the NDP. But anger over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to invoke it remains, with Conservatives and Bloc members calling it unnecessary. 4:27

“Even though things seem to be resolving very well in Ottawa, this state of emergency is not over,” he said.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, who was with Trudeau at his news conference, said a number of people affiliated with the protests remain in the city.

“We have to remain vigilant, and not only in Ottawa but at our ports of entry,” he said, referring to a number of blockades at Canada-U.S. border crossings, including Coutts, Alta., and Windsor, Ont.

WATCH | Mendicino says state of emergency won’t last ‘single moment’ longer than needed: 


Mendicino says state of emergency won’t last ‘single moment’ longer than needed.

Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino says the state of emergency is not ready to be lifted, but all of government agrees it will not stay in place any longer than necessary. 2:30

Last week, the federal Liberals invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time since its passage in 1988 to deal with an anti-vaccine mandate protest that had been occupying downtown Ottawa for weeks. The measures set out in the act have been in effect ever since.

The New Democrats indicated early on that they would support the government’s use of the act but urged the Liberals to tread carefully, and said they are reserving the right to pull support at any time.

“We share the concern of many Canadians that the government may misuse the powers in the Emergencies Act, so I want to be very clear: We will be watching. We will withdraw our support if, at any point, we feel these powers are being misused,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh told the House at the start of the debate on Thursday. 

Trudeau walks across an empty Wellington Street to a news conference in Ottawa Monday. The Emergencies Act passed by a vote of 185 to 151 on Monday night in a rare weekend sitting of the House of Commons. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Singh again promised his party’s “reluctant support” for triggering the Emergencies Act early Monday, saying New Democrats are prepared to trigger a second vote if they decide that the measures provided for under the act are no longer necessary.

“It’s not a blank cheque. We are prepared to pull our support as soon as … the act is no longer needed,” he said Monday.

The act states that it cannot be in force for more than 30 days from the date it was invoked, in this case Feb. 14.

Singh said New Democrats would not support its use for that long and called on the government to provide regular updates to MPs.

WATCH | Jagmeet Singh says NDP will ‘reluctantly’ support use of Emergencies Act in vote:


NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party will ‘reluctantly’ support use of Emergencies Act in Commons vote

Singh says his party reserves the right to pull its support on the use of the Emergencies Act if certain criteria are no longer met. 2:19

At least two Liberal MPs expressed doubts about the continued use of the act in the lead up to the vote. 

Ontario MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith said that despite reservations he would support the motion because the vote was a question of confidence — one that would trigger a general election if the government loses.

“I’m not convinced that the emergency measures should continue to exist beyond today,” he said during the House of Commons debate on Monday.

“The disagreement I’ve expressed here does not amount to non-confidence, and I have no interest in an election at this time.”

Quebec MP Joël Lightbound echoed Erskine-Smith, saying he would vote against the use of the act if it wasn’t a confidence vote.

Conservatives, Bloc oppose use of act

The at-times tense and personal debate over the Emergencies Act has pitted the Liberal government against the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois, a combination Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux referred to as an “unholy alliance.”

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre, who is seeking his party’s leadership, accused Prime Minister Trudeau of engineering the crisis for political gain.

“They have attempted to amplify and take advantage of every pain, every fear, every tragedy that has struck throughout this pandemic in order to divide one person against another and replace the people’s freedom with the government’s power,” he said Saturday.

The Conservatives argued that the protests did not rise to the level of an emergency and did not warrant the use of extraordinary powers.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said the government didn’t need to invoke the Emergencies Act — that what it needed to do was to provide Ottawa police with additional officers to remove the protesters.

“The police did its job, and it’s a wonderful job which has been done here in the last few days, and by itself it is a proof that this law never had to be used in anyway,” he said outside of Parliament Hill on Monday.

RCMP says it’s not going after small donors

Some Conservative MPs have suggested that police could freeze the bank accounts of small donors who may have given money to the protest early on.

In a statement released Monday, the RCMP said it has provided banks only with the names of organizers and owners of trucks who had refused to leave the protest area.

“At no time did we provide a list of donors to financial institutions,” the statement said.

Police have succeeded in dislodging protesters from their main encampment near Parliament Hill and have established a secure perimeter with fencing. Authorities have towed the vehicles that have occupied much of the city’s downtown core for more than three weeks.

In defending their decision, Liberals have pointed repeatedly to comments made by interim Ottawa police Chief Steve Bell on Friday. Bell said the Emergencies Act allowed police to set up barriers and secure an area in the city’s downtown.

The Senate must also vote on the act’s use but debate has not started yet in that chamber.


With files from the CBC’s Peter Zimonjic


The Strange Case Of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s War Against Everything

The Strange Case Of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s War Against Everything

By Brad Salzberg/ CAP

Federal New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh has drawn a connection between anti-lockdown protests and far-right extremism.

“To brazenly not follow public-health guidelines puts people at risk and that is something that we’ve seen with extreme right-wing ideology,” he told reporters.

The fact that Canadians from all walks of life have refrained from adhering to public-health guidelines seems inconsequential to Jagmeet Singh. The attitude remains consistent– if Singh can figure out a way to associate a social issue with racism, he will do so. Such is the “calling card” of Mr. Singh and his fight against nearly every element of Canadian society.

Just this week, Mr. Singh attended a drive-in for an end of Ramadan event in Mississauga with Taranvir Dhaliwal, who works  for his brother Gurratan — a provincial NDP MPP.

Captured on video was a violation of Covid regulations on the part of the NDP leader. Neither Singh, nor mainstream media, issued a statement on whether or not this confirmed his dedication to right-wing ideology.

Such is the malarky that emanates from this most curious of federal party leaders. A former lawyer who served as a provincial politician in Ontario,Jagmeet Singh became the first member of a visible minority to lead a national political party in Canada when he won the NDP leadership in 2017.

Neglected at the time was the fact that Mr. Singh was literally parachuted into a Vancouver suburb in order to secure as seat as a member of Parliament. Lacking tangible connection to the riding, within two months of arrival the MP seat had been secured. Perhaps it helped that next to white-minority Richmond,Burnaby is the most 3rd World-oriented riding in Greater Vancouver.

From MP to NDP party leader was another hop, skip and jump. As reported by CBC NewsSingh raised 53 per cent of all the money collected by the four candidates. His support was largely drawn from his home region of the Greater Toronto Area, which alone represented two-thirds of his fundraising.

How fascinating this is. For one thing, who knew that community members in the GTA— meaning Sikh stronghold Brampton-–  cared so deeply about election results 4000km away in Vancouver?

Such were the sketchy circumstances surrounding Jagmeet Singh’s rise to the top of the NDP Party totem pole. Once he got there, he began to indulge in a hobby shared by PM Justin Trudeau: playing the “race card” against those who ideologically oppose his brand of globalist politics.

In June 2020, Singh was removed from Parliament after refusing to apologize to Bloc Quebecois House Leader Alain Therrien. Mr. Singh called Therrien a racist for denying the approval needed for a motion calling out systemic racism in the RCMP.

Not a speck of contrition was heard from a stiff-necked Singh.“I don’t back down from standing up to racism… I don’t think it benefits for me to call people names, I was angry at the moment and I stand by it,” he said afterward.

The NDP Leader was seeking unanimous consent. He didn’t get it– hence the racism accusation outburst. At this stage of the game, Canadians know all about what Jagmeet Singh stands against. As far as what he stands for, that’s another ball game. Media have little interest. Policy presentation is generally met with a shrug from all sides.

If the Cultural Action Party didn’t know better(we don’t), we might conclude that the purpose of Mr. Singh’s leadership falls outside traditional elements of party leadership. Curious it is that a technically powerless character such as this has on multiple occasions held the fate of Justin Trudeau’s minority government in his hands.

In each case, Trudeau has been bailed out by the NDP.  Similar in character, both share a knack for race-card pretensions. Could it be that the Trudeau-Singh relationship is, in fact, a tacit agreement for the maintenance of a globalist ethos?

Put it this way: if Trudeau was playing quarterback for the Great Reset Rough Riders, Jagmeet Singh would be sitting on the bench as a back-up.

Damage In Disguise: How Justin Trudeau Fuels The Woke Generation’s Hatred Of Canada

According to New Indian Express, the NDP leader has more than once openly voiced his support for Sikh separatists in Canada, earning him the tag of being “pro-Khalistan.”

In 2013, Singh was denied a visa to India for criticizing New Delhi’s human rights record, in turn becoming the first western legislator ever to be denied entry into the country.

 Jagmeet Singh’s dedication to Sikh politics in undeniable. As for Canada, the man shares Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s scorn toward the colonial founding of our nation.

What a long, strange trip it has been from the days of a nascent NDP Party founded by Tommy Douglas.  A Scottish Canadian who served as Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961, Mr. Douglas was leader of the New Democratic Party from 1961 to 1971.

This salt-of-the earth founder of universal medicare would be turning in his grave if he were to witness the transformation within his party.

In fact, CAP is all-in on the idea that Mr. Douglas would consider the circumstances nothing less than a globalist hi-jacking of the NDP Party of Canada.

— Brad Salzberg, CAP Founder (Est. 2016)