Emergencies Act regulations must be geographically limited

Speaker: Ms. May
Time: 17/02/2022 18:31:37
Context: Debate

In analyzing this definition, it turns out that the words “threat to the security of Canada” are not the words that one might take as a plain meaning that we think to ourselves what the threat to security is. No, it is specifically described as being the meaning that we would find in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act. We go to another act to find the definition for threats to the security of Canada.

This is fascinating. I think I may be the first one to mention it. Threats to the security of Canada in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act is defined with four heads to describe it. I will read only (b) because that is the one that most applies in this circumstance. It includes: “threats to the security of Canada means foreign influenced activity 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”.

The second part of that definition that we get from the Emergencies Act itself says that not only must it be a threat to the security of Canada, such as the one I just read out in definitions from the Security Intelligence Service Act, it must also be so serious as to be a national emergency.

National emergency, we go back to the Emergency Act, national emergencies people have referenced in the House, is an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that:

(a) seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it, or seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada.

The question here is has that test been met, has that threshold been met? That takes further interpretation based on the fact I personally, and I found this in the declaration itself so the government is also troubled by this, and troubled by the foreign influence aspect of what we are seeing across Canada. The declaration which we are debating tonight includes this point:

The protests have become a rallying point for anti-government and anti-authority, anti-vaccination, conspiracy theory and white supremacist groups throughout Canada and other western countries. The protesters have varying ideological grievances with demands ranging from an end to all public health restrictions to the overthrow of the elected government.

That does seem very consistent with our first question, is this a threat to the security of Canada, under the meaning of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, foreign influenced activities within or related to Canada that are detrimental to the interests of Canada, such as blocking access to trade, blocking communities, shutting down communities, and are they clandestine or deceptive? jYes, if the money is coming from overseas and people use anonymous email addresses and they send money into Canada for the purpose of disrupting our nation.

What is that purpose? Where do we find further evidence of what foreign influence might be attempting to visit on Canada but also on other political regimes? This is from today’s Associated Press “How American cash for Canada’s protests would sway U.S. politics”. In this a series of journalists working for Associated Press makes the case that this convoy and the various protests across Canada under the banner of freedom convoys is “really aimed at energizing conservative politics in the U.S. and elsewhere. Republicans think standing with protesters up north will galvanize fundraising and voter turnout for the mid-term elections.”

No wonder we have such luminaries of the far right south of the border as Texan Republican Ted Cruise and Georgian Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene calling the protesters in Canada heroes and patriots. They are the darlings of Fox News right now. Senator Rand Paul says: “he hopes the truckers come to the United States and clog up their city”. In other words, one aspect of what raises this to the level of national emergency is that it also has tentacles the longer it goes on here, the more intended to inspire disruptions in other economies including our number one trading partner. Does it rise to the level of a national emergency?