emergencies act canada

Justin Trudeau to invoke the federal Emergencies Act for the first time in history

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will reportedly make history on Monday, with various sources confirming speculation that the federal government will invoke the Emergencies Act in response to the ongoing trucker convoy protest in Ottawa.

It's the first time the act will be invoked since receiving royal assent in 1988, replacing the War Measures Act, which authorizes temporary measures to guarantee national security during emergencies of public welfare, public order, international crises, and war.

Unlike the previous act, temporary measures taken under the Emergencies Act are subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, limiting the federal government's ability to suspend civil liberties.

Still, this is the harshest response possible for the fed, the act reserved for emergencies that threaten the "safety and security of the individual, the protection of the values of the body politic and the preservation of the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the state are fundamental obligations of government."

The language in the act regarding suspensions of civil liberties is clear, but this hasn't stopped many aligned with the so-called "Freedom movement" from ringing alarm bells and accusing the Liberal government of authoritarianism.

It's a move that's been expected for a few days now, rumours reaching a fever pitch on Sunday evening when the PM met with the Incident Response Group to the rapidly-evolving demonstrations. 

News that Trudeau would invoke the Emergencies Act was confirmed to various media sources on Monday morning in a widely-expected response that has had the act trending by name on Twitter since Sunday evening.

The PM has reportedly been in calls with provincial premiers all Monday morning, with the announcement of the measures considered imminent.

The extreme move continues an interesting legacy for the Trudeau political dynasty.

Justin Trudeau has followed in the footsteps of his father, former PM Pierre Trudeau, who was the first and only Prime Minister to use the previous War Measures Act in peacetime during the 1970 October Crisis.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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