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  • davesills

Policing 'Freedom' and the Emergencies Act

Really good article on some of the reasons why the policing during the Ottawa occupation failed, and how something similar could return this winter.

I have to say that I thought the hearings into the use of the Emergencies Act were pretty amazing. When's the last time you saw the Prime Minister and cabinet testify under oath and be cross-examined by a litany of lawyers? PMJT testified for 5 1/2 hours! And having watched a good chunk of that testimony, I was totally impressed with how informed and rational the responses were, and how well the case was made for using the EA.

There is one aspect that never got discussed to my knowledge - the unsettling realization that some of the police were not acting because they were sympathetic to the occupiers' cause. Some were even aiding the occupiers by leaking strategies. I have to think this never came up at the hearings because the government did not want to further erode trust in our institutions, particularly our police forces. But I bet the question was asked discretely several times as the occupation wore on - are the police still on our side? The occupation leadership had also stated they wanted to form a new government led by the Governor General, the Senate, and themselves - all unelected. Our elected government was clearly vulnerable, though to what degree was uncertain. For me, even just this aspect of the occupation was reason enough to enact the EA - the occupation bordered on insurrection. Maybe this was discussed in the legal opinion that the government refused to share.

Thankfully, the occupation was disbanded with little violence, and with no lives lost or serious injuries. But it certainly leaves a lot of questions - and concerns about 'the next time'.


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