OTTAWA, Ontario – Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Conservative MP Eric Duncan is siding with his party in their opposition to the Emergencies Act implemented by Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response to ongoing anti-mandate protests in downtown Ottawa.
In a statement released on Thursday, Feb. 17, Duncan explained that he felt that the Emergencies Act was not necessary to resolve the situation.
“Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has made no efforts to de-escalate the situation before taking the unprecedented step of imposing powers of the Emergencies Act. The Emergencies Act was not needed to settle the rail blockades of 2020, the Oka crisis, the crisis at Caledonia, September 11, the COVID-19 pandemic or any other dispute in Canadian history,” Duncan’s statement reads. “It is also important to note that the illegal blockades at the Ambassador Bridge and the Coutts Port of Entry in Alberta occurred prior to the Emergencies Act being invoked and have been addressed without federal help. I have confidence that law enforcement can use their existing resources to address the situation in Ottawa,” Duncan added.
That being said, Duncan did also state that he wanted to see the protests and blockades come to an end.
“I have always supported Canadians right to peaceful protest, it is a fundamental right in a democracy and that must be upheld. However, I agree that the blockades of roads, critical infrastructure and obstruction of our borders should not be permitted. The precedence to continue to allow those continued actions are not good for our political discourse,” he wrote.
“I want to get these blockades ended. I want our country to reopen and get back to normal. Those do not have to be two opposing goals. It is beyond frustrating that we find ourselves at this point when, thankfully, data and public health advice is suggesting we can get back to normal by learning to live with COVID and not living in fear,” Duncan added.
Both the Conservatives and Bloc Quebeciose have announced their opposition to the Emergencies Act, while the NDP have indicated that they will support the Liberals allowing the Act to pass in the House of Commons. If the Act also passes in the Senate and is assented to by the Governor General then it will be in effect for 30 days.
Among other powers, the Emergencies Act will allow the government to direct banks to freeze the business accounts and insurance of truckers taking part in the protests in downtown Ottawa.