Week in Review: Feb 14 – 18

Another unprecedented week. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act in response to the ongoing illegal blockades in Ottawa and on the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor. Following this announcement, debate was extended until Monday, February 21st. At the time of writing, MPs will sit from 7 am to midnight over the weekend to debate the use of the Emergencies Act, and vote on Monday evening.

Question Period

Elizabeth and Mike both had questions in Question Period this week. Two years ago, the former leader of the Conservatives, Andrew Scheer, called on Indigenous protesters and their allies opposing the Coastal Gaslink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en territory to “check their privilege.” He stated that while the protesters might “have the luxury of spending days at a time on a blockade,” they need to “let people…do their jobs.”

Elizabeth used this ironic comparison in her question on Monday to point out that Canada needs to examine the gross double standard that exists in policing and enforcement. Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) face brute force, targeted arrests and surveillance, while the protesters in Ottawa and Windsor are treated quite differently. She asked the government to examine this double standard and to bring the implicit racism in the way protesters are treated to an end.

Mike pointed out that the pandemic has had a huge impact on the mental health of Canadians. He stated that existing mental health resources are stretched too thin, and asked the government to prioritize accessible and inclusive mental health care for every Canadian.

Key Moments