Trudeau of Canada Expected to invoke Emergency Act/Martial Law in Canada
The Emergency Act has never been invoked before. That is about to change.
One national security source and one source that participated in a Monday morning Liberal national caucus meeting said the government is poised to invoke the act and that senior officials are preparing for an imminent announcement.
Multiple sources have also told Global News federal officials are weighing options for the military to help law enforcement with logistics. But there is no plan at this time, according to the sources, to have the military help police in dealing with civilians or deploying into the streets.
The Emergencies Act lays out four different kinds of emergencies in which provinces might be effectively out of their depth to respond: public welfare emergencies; public order emergencies; international emergencies; and war emergencies.
A public order emergency in particular grants five kinds of powers to the federal cabinet:
the ability to “regulate or prohibit public assembly that may reasonably be expected to lead to a breach of the peace, travel, or the use of property”
the ability to “designate and secure protected places”
the ability to “assume the control, restoration and maintenance of public utilities and services”
the ability to “authorize or direct the provision of essential services and the provision of reasonable compensation”
the ability to “impose on summary conviction a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both, or on indictment, a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both, for any breach of an order or regulation”
The criteria are strict: to qualify as a public order emergency, a situation must meet the definition of “threats to the security of Canada” as outlined in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act — or the act that regulates the powers of the country’s intelligence agency.
That legislation is clear in its definition of “threats to the security of Canada” that “lawful” protests do not qualify, and outlines four possible scenarios:
“espionage or sabotage that is against Canada or is detrimental to the interests of Canada or activities directed toward or in support of such espionage or sabotage”
“foreign influenced activities within or relating to Canada that are detrimental to the interests of Canada and are clandestine or deceptive or involve a threat to any person”
“activities within or relating to Canada directed toward or in support of the threat or use of acts of serious violence against persons or property for the purpose of achieving a political, religious or ideological objective within Canada or a foreign state”
“activities directed toward undermining by covert unlawful acts, or directed toward or intended ultimately to lead to the destruction or overthrow by violence of, the constitutionally established system of government in Canada.”
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