‘Freedom Convoy’ in ‘full swing’ when emergency law invoked, feds tell court

'Freedom Convoy' in 'full swing' when emergency law invoked, feds tell court
A person waves a Canadian flag as police on horseback and an armoured police vehicle are positioned in front of protesters, on the 22nd day of a protest against COVID-19 measures that has grown into a broader anti-government protest, in Ottawa, on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Lawyers for the federal attorney general are set to expand today on the legal rationale for the historic use of the Emergencies Act to dispel

A federal lawyer says the “Freedom Convoy” movement was still in “full swing” the day the Liberal government invoked the Emergencies Act early last year, justifying the extraordinary measures.

John Provart told a Federal Court hearing today that the notion the protests and blockades across Canada were being brought under control by that point is “little short of revisionist history.”

Lawyers for the federal attorney general are spelling out reasons the court should dismiss arguments from several groups and individuals opposed to the government’s use of the emergency law.

Civil liberties and constitutional defence groups have told Justice Richard Mosley this week that the government did not meet the legal threshold for resorting to the Emergencies Act.

The act allowed for temporary measures including the prohibition of public assemblies, the designation of secure places, direction to banks to freeze assets and a ban on support for participants.

The government says the extraordinary measures were targeted, proportional, time-limited and compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 5, 2023.

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

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