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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 034

CONTENTS

Saturday, February 19, 2022




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 034
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 7 a.m.

Prayer


  (0700)  

[English]

Cancellation of Friday Sitting

    Before proceeding further, I want to acknowledge what happened yesterday.
    With the agreement of the party leaders and in consideration of the safety of members and staff, a decision was made to cancel Friday's sitting. Early yesterday, a police operation was initiated to address the demonstration that has occupied Wellington Street and the downtown core for the last three weeks.

[Translation]

     The progress made thus far by police authorities, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Protective Service, is now allowing us to resume our work.
    On behalf of this Chamber, let me express our sincere gratitude for the dedication and professionalism of the police authorities, the Parliamentary Protective Service, as well as our Corporate Security staff and the personnel of the House Administration. It is through their support that these extraordinary sittings are possible.

Orders of the Day

[Statutory Order]

[English]

Emergencies Act

    The House resumed from February 17 consideration of the motion.
     I wish to inform the House that, pursuant to an order made on Thursday, February 17, 2022, the House be convened this day for the sole purpose of considering the motion for confirmation of the declaration of emergency standing on the Order Paper in the name of the Minister of Public Safety.

[Translation]

    This crucial debate is not to be taken lightly. It was prompted by an event that will go down in the history of the Canadian federation, though not as one of its most glorious moments.
    Let me say off the top that I am against the use of the Emergencies Act as set out in the orders, and I am definitely against its use in Quebec. To support my argument, I will review what the act does.
    As its name suggests, the Emergencies Act is a tool of last resort that can only be used when a situation is so imminent, so overwhelming and so insurmountable a threat, that it is strictly impossible for the government to control it under existing legislation.
    The consequence of the application of the act is that the executive may, by order, impose measures to ensure the safety of Canadians, the territorial integrity of the country and the protection of the constitutionally established order. This may include prohibiting movement or assembly, regulating the use of specified property, taking control of public services, imposing fines or even summary imprisonment.
    Given the potentially antifreedom and undemocratic nature of the measures that can be imposed, Parliament has taken care to specify an exhaustive list of situations that can justify invoking the act. Accordingly, the only grounds for the government to invoke the Emergencies Act are as follows.
    The first is a public welfare emergency. It should be noted that since the act came into force, none of the devastating floods, winter ice storms or wildfires that Canadians and Quebeckers have faced has led the government to use these extraordinary powers.
     In addition to natural disasters, the definition of a public welfare emergency also includes disease. It is especially pertinent to note that the global health crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic did not require the invocation of the Emergencies Act, even though it has caused over 35,000 deaths in Canada and nearly six million deaths worldwide to date, and it is about to mark its ill-fated second anniversary. Despite their exceptional nature, the actions taken to respond to the needs created by this unprecedented crisis were possible without resorting to the Emergencies Act.
    Third, the declaration of an international emergency, which is defined as a situation or acts of coercion involving the use of force between countries, may constitute grounds for invoking the Emergencies Act. Similarly, if Canada were to go to war, that may justify the use of the exceptional measures allowed under the Emergencies Act.
    The fourth and final rationale provided as justification for a government giving itself these extraordinary powers is that of a public order emergency. Since that term is rather vague, the legislator was good enough to provide a definition in section 16 of the act:
    
public order emergency means an emergency that arises from threats to the security of Canada and that is so serious as to be a national emergency;
    For the members who are wondering what a national emergency is, section 3 of the Act specifies that it:
    ...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
(b) seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada and that cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.
    That is significant. My colleagues will agree that the wording is very explicit as to how severe the circumstances must be to justify invoking the Act. Whether it is invoked for one or the other of the reasons I just mentioned, it is an extremely serious measure that must not be taken lightly by the government. It should be a last resort—a tool to be used only after we tried to turn off the leaky tap, used every tool in the box and called in the plumber, but the tap is still leaking.

  (0705)  

    This is the first time since the Emergencies Act was passed in 1988 that a Prime Minister of Canada has felt the need to resort to the special powers it confers. Its previous incarnation, the War Measures Act, was invoked only three times, specifically, during the First World War, during the Second World War, and during the episode of October 1970, an episode that deeply scarred the people of Quebec.
    To be fair, I would like to note that the two pieces of legislation are not comparable and we have to be careful about comparing everything from that perspective.
    The Emergencies Act requires the government to show that it is facing a dangerous and urgent situation that it finds impossible to deal with it under ordinary laws. The government failed to demonstrate any such thing in the statement of reasons it submitted to parliamentarians. Even worse, it did not even try to do so, since it has remained completely silent on the topic.
    I want to explain to members why. It is simply because there is no good reason to justify using this special legislation. There is no legal vacuum preventing the government from resolving the crisis in Ottawa.
    The vast majority of protests and blockades that we have seen over the past few weeks have been brought under control or removed without the use of the federal Emergencies Act. The Sarnia, Fort Erie, Coutts and Ambassador Bridge blockades were successfully removed. All of those border crossings are now back up and running, and trade with the United States has been re-established, so it seems that law enforcement was able to put an end to these protests without needing to use any special powers.
    What is it about the Ottawa protest that makes it so unstoppable that it cannot be dealt with under the existing legislative framework? What laws are insufficient to resolve the crisis? Why do those laws not allow us to deal with the situation effectively? We do not know. The government has never said.
    What is more, before invoking the Emergencies Act, the Prime Minister dragged his feet for two long weeks rather than trying to resolve the crisis. How can he claim, after—

  (0710)  

    The hon. member for Windsor West on a point of order.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I have a point of order. I apologize for interrupting my colleague. I think it might even be a question of privilege.
    There has been erroneous discussion about the Ambassador Bridge in my riding being open for business. It is not in the normal—
    That is getting into debate. The member can ask questions.
    Children cannot get to health appointments—
    That is debate. If the member wants to ask a question, I will make sure he does.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, thank you for letting me continue after that interruption. As we all know, questions and comments come after members' speeches, so I will pick up where I left off.
    After trying nothing at all, how can the Prime Minister claim that we now need to use a legislative atomic bomb? What happened between February 11, when he was saying that the Ontario Provincial Police had all the resources needed to put an end to the crisis, and February 14, three days later, when he invoked a law that has not been used in over 35 years?
    Why did the Prime Minister extend the application of the act to all of Canada when six provincial premiers and the Premier of Quebec have openly spoken out against the use of the act on their territory?
    On February 15, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion that states “that no emergency situation currently justifies the use of special legislative measures in Quebec” and that “it ask the Canadian government not to enforce the Emergencies Act in Quebec”. This could not be any clearer. Why did the Prime Minister choose to go against this consensus reached by Quebec and some of the provinces?
    I would like to close by adding that I stand with the citizens of Ottawa and Gatineau, who have been prevented from enjoying their neighbourhoods, their city and their peace of mind for more than three weeks. I myself have spent these past few weeks in the region, and I have directly experienced the extent of the nuisance caused by the illegal protests to all residents.
    It is time to put an end to the siege of the City of Ottawa. Citizens must get their lives back. That is why the Bloc Québécois understands that certain measures must be taken, but it does not believe that the use of such a legislative hammer is justified. The Emergencies Act was designed to address the shortcomings of existing laws, not the shortcomings in the government's and the Prime Minister's leadership.

  (0715)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, put quite simply, the member is wrong. When close to half a billion dollars a day in international trade is impacted, when a downtown is seized with blockades and so forth, and when the interim chief in Ottawa talks about how the use of the Emergencies Act has been of great benefit, I would suggest that the member is wrong.
    Does the member not realize that the vast majority of Canadians recognizes the importance of re-establishing order for the residents of Ottawa, and that showing the rest of Canada that the federal government, in working with the municipality and the province, can enforce the rule of law is an important aspect of a democracy?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for Winnipeg North for his question.
    I was very clear in my speech: There are no grounds for invoking the Emergencies Act. The government has not proven there are any grounds.
    How is it that the blockades at Fort Erie and the Ambassador Bridge were removed without the Emergencies Act?
    Why does Ottawa currently need the Emergencies Act? What is the legal void?
    If someone on the government side could answer these questions today, they might be able to convince me.
    The police had all the means and tools they needed. Even the Prime Minister said so.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the member for the Bloc laid out perfectly why this was an expansive overreach on the part of the government. One of the things that is extremely concerning to me, and I think the Deputy Prime Minister actually confirmed this the other day, is that the government is intending to impose some of the measures in the Emergencies Act on a more permanent basis, including financial tracking of individuals. This causes a problem not just here in Ottawa but right across the country, including in Quebec.
    Is the fact that she is talking about a more permanent measure of tracking the bank accounts and the transactions of Canadians disturbing? It should be.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    The Deputy Prime Minister said that the Emergencies Act would make it possible to freeze protesters' bank accounts or stop illegal funding.
    That is not true, however. The existing Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act already provides for that. This act allows financial institutions to freeze funds that are either obtained through criminal activity or used to fund criminal activity.
    The government is trying to spin things, but there is already legislation in place. What the government is saying is completely untrue.
    It is not possible to invoke the Emergencies Act without reasonable grounds, as set out in the act.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I apologize for the other interruption. I wanted to make sure the member had correct information and did not spread misinformation. The Ambassador Bridge is open, but not in its full context. Now the barriers are in my community along the side streets to keep those 14 kilometres secure.
    Not only are businesses, emergency service vehicles and regular life and jobs inconvenienced, but traffic is slower, which is affecting many other people. Today, as well as every single day since the blockade, including with the subsequent repercussions due to other barriers, children cannot get to doctor's appointments.
    What would the hon. member like to say to those families who are having to delay medical appointments, which have already been delayed due to the pandemic, even further because of the new blockades? They prevent them from getting to those medical appointments. This is a fact, and I would like the hon. member to address the families right now who will not get to their appointments, not only for themselves but for their children.

  (0720)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague spoke about correct information, and I love information, but what I love most are laws.
    There are laws already in place that provide for blockades to be removed. The Emergencies Act will not magically allow for all blockades to be removed. Police forces already have the tools and skills to do so.
    The Bloc Québécois understands that a piece of legislation can be insufficient. This legislation can then be amended by order in council. However, the Emergencies Act does not give authorities a magic wand to fix everything.

[English]

    We still have quite a few days of debate. I know we are getting noisy already. It seems like everybody has that first coffee in them and they are feeling ready to go, but I just want to make sure that we respect each other's rights in this chamber. I want to make sure we have an opportunity to speak and ask questions, that we can actually hear the questions, and that we can actually hear the responses as well.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to join the debate on the legitimacy of invoking the Emergencies Act. This is a very important and urgent subject. I know the members are eager to hear my point of view. I thank them for being here.
    I salute the police forces for their work, their professionalism and their actions yesterday. I would like to thank the people of Abitibi—Témiscamingue for being so resilient, and I applaud our health care workers, who have been working so hard for us for so many months. I would also like to thank child care and education workers, who have braved this virus every day and enable children to learn and grow.
    So many other people have worked hard to keep our local economy going, which I am proud of. I speak on behalf of a resource region known for its ability to innovate and recover from tough economic times. That is our path forward.
    I appreciate the gravity of the unique situation we find ourselves in here and throughout all regions of Quebec and Canada. The pandemic certainly caused a great deal of harm, which we tried to control through measures that restricted our freedoms, but everyone knows these measures are temporary. People are perfectly aware of that and have said as much in many ways. We hope this all comes to an end without violence.
    We are currently debating the Emergencies Act to make it clear to the Prime Minister, as well as Liberal and NDP members, that we do not want this legislation to be invoked. This Prime Minister invoked it for the wrong reasons. First, he has failed to convince us that this is a dangerous and urgent situation all across Canada. The danger is in Ontario, in Ottawa. The provinces possess the necessary powers, and they do not want this legislation invoked on their territory. Second, we are being told that dealing with this situation under existing laws would be impossible. That is false.
    I hope all members understand just how far‑reaching the use of the Emergencies Act is, but I doubt it. The act gives the federal government special powers to deal with urgent and critical situations. In other words, these are situations that can only be resolved by granting the federal government even more rights, and it has the right to do so only if other means have been exhausted. That includes dialogue. This act must be used sparingly. We have the privilege of deciding whether the time is right. We have an obligation to weigh each of the requirements of the act.
    The Prime Minister of Canada shirked his responsibilities and clearly lacked leadership, judging from his actions and bad decisions. He added fuel to the fire and made enemies of the far right and even the people on the left. It is a serious mistake to lump all the protesters together at this point.
    Every analysis and crisis management expert agrees that it is premature and inappropriate to invoke this legislation, but the government will not budge and is acting tough. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. It is rather embarrassing at this stage for the Liberal Prime Minister to admit that he is making a mistake and that he will pay for his poor choices. I hope he is seriously thinking about his future.
    Now, what is happening with the provinces? To be clear, I think the Government of Quebec has done its homework. In Quebec, we do not want to give power to a Prime Minister who has shirked his responsibilities. The Bloc Québécois will fight hard against legislation that is being used to cover up the Prime Minister's political failure. We are definitely voting against the Emergencies Act. We do not want this legislation in Quebec, period.
    The use of this legislation has to be better and clearly justified to members of Parliament and senators. The effectiveness of this measure is questionable. It has become very clear to everyone that the Prime Minister invoked the Emergencies Act not to end the protests that are blockading downtown Ottawa and border crossings across the country, but to restore the public's trust in him. He is using it to score political points yet again.
    Can the government do whatever it wants? The answer is no. The act imposes limits. The government is also limited by Parliament, fortunately, because the House of Commons or the Senate can put an end to this declaration.
    What is more, every two days, Parliament reviews the decisions the government has made. Parliament can then amend or reverse them. What should this legislation be used for? The Emergencies Act imposes special measures. It gives the government the licence to order actions to be taken within specific boundaries and restore the order that existed before the crisis. There is therefore a start and an end.

  (0725)  

    If anyone causes a disruption or is proven to be the source of a disruption, the government can impose harsh penalties, including imprisonment. The consent of provincial governments is required.
    The Emergencies Act allows the government to limit or prohibit travel to or from a specified area, limit or prohibit any public assembly that may disturb the peace, designate and secure protected places, and assume control of public utilities and services.
    Towards the end of the 1980s, the government decided to repeal the War Measures Act to allow debate on emergency measures. It would never have believed that a Prime Minister would invoke it unless there was an exceptional situation and unless all other means had been exhausted. The members of the House put many conditions in place at the time, including a debate in the House of Commons and a debate in the Senate, to ensure that the government would never be tempted to appropriate such powers for political reasons.
    It is outrageous that the Liberal government has brazenly ignored the spirit of the act to further its own interests and avoid taking responsibility for its bad decisions. That is truly deplorable. It is very clear to me that the threshold required to invoke the Emergencies Act has not, in my opinion, been reached. What the NDP and the Liberals are doing is wrong, and they are doing it blindly, wilfully and deliberately, without checking the facts. That is irresponsible.
    We must not turn our backs on the people who gave us the privilege of governing them. These people are out in the streets because they came to tell us that they they are not doing well and that they want to have the same rights as they did before the health crisis. It was expected that things might get out of hand, and government inaction has played a major role in what is now looking like a siege around Parliament Hill.
    How can the government invoke the Emergencies Act when it is unwilling to take a clear stand and has failed to live up to its responsibilities?
    We asked the federal government to show us a plan. Protesters from Quebec and Canada are telling us that they are fed up and that they want to get back to some semblance of normal life. That is starting to happen. The Government of Quebec has made some announcements in that regard.
    The Prime Minister is acting as though he has not been listening to the provincial press conferences. I sincerely believe it would be in his best interest to do so. He would realize a lot of things, starting with the fact that everyone thinks this is a bad idea at this point. If he had been involved from the beginning of the crisis, he would realize that there have been mixed reactions from people. I want my constituents to know that we read the many emails that we get at our offices. People have expressed many emotions, including excitement, relief, indifference, doubt and disappointment.
    The powers that the Liberal government has given itself are not even appropriate. The federal government should not have the right to freeze bank accounts before it has even presented a plan for a potential return to a much less restrictive environment, as other governments have done.
    In practical terms, people have been victimized by this pandemic, particularly seniors. People have lost economic power, and businesses in all sectors have had to adjust. To make it through, we have been trying things with regard to health measures, guidelines and what is being asked, and understandably so. The pandemic has affected everyone across Quebec and Canada.
    The most important thing will always be information, or what people are told. The public seeks out quality information; failure to provide it results in knowledge gaps and confusion. Having doubts is fine. Speaking out and protesting are fine. Calls for insurrection and abdication, on the other hand, are not. It was the government's job to answer our questions and give us accurate information. If it had done so at the right time, we would not all be here. When measures are needed and relevant, and people's freedoms must be altered, it is paramount that these people and all of us are notified.
    The Prime Minister surely cannot tell us that he has not had any available resources over the past three weeks. He knows full well that there were ministers who could have freed up resources to help the Ontario government and the Ottawa Police Service. Ottawa police asked for more resources to manage the convoys, but the federal government merely told them that RCMP officers were stationed around the Hill.
    Was that truly necessary? Would it not have been more appropriate to station them elsewhere, knowing that several convoys of trucks were heading for Ottawa?
    When trucks stop at a red light, that is one thing. When they stop and park in the middle of the street, that is a whole other thing, and it is illegal. I do not support this occupation in any way.
    The federal government dragged its feet while the City of Ottawa was asking for reinforcements, because it knew all too well that the truckers would not be gone on the Monday following the start of the protests. The Prime Minister of Canada certainly could have stepped up and shown that kind of leadership.

  (0730)  

    Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleagues across the way. It is sad that we have gotten to a point where the government is forced to bring in emergency measures.
    I do want to point that I was there in 1970, and I remember well what happened. An elected official was assassinated. This was not just any man; he was an elected member of the Quebec National Assembly. There is a reason no minister in the Quebec National Assembly today will go out without safety precautions.
    I have a question for my colleague today. The Legault government and the City of Quebec reacted well and did what needed to be done. This was unfortunately not the case in Ontario and elsewhere. However, how does my colleague explain the fact that, according to a poll, 72% of Quebeckers support the government's use of the Emergencies Act?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her comments.
    No, I was not there in 1970. I was not born yet. Nevertheless, what stays with me is the trauma that hundreds of Quebeckers endured and are now reliving with this situation.
    All governments have a responsibility, and this government did not take that responsibility. To me, it sounds like there is propaganda coming out of this government. It is using symbols and not listening to what is going on outside, which I think is even worse than what is being said.
    What is going on right now is unacceptable. Yesterday I saw a woman on a mobility scooter saying “peaceful, peaceful” to police officers, and she was trampled by a horse.
    The government has responsibilities.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue for his speech. I would also like to thank the member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, who spoke earlier.
    My colleagues did a great job of contextualizing the big difference between the events of 1970 and the 1988 act invoked by this government. This act, which was drafted and passed by Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government and sponsored by Minister Perrin Beatty, sets out very specific conditions. For one thing, the act cannot be used for partisan purposes. It is to be used only if it meets criteria that this government, unfortunately, has not met.
    I would like to ask my colleague a question.
    Ottawa was under siege for 17 days. For 17 days, the Prime Minister did absolutely nothing. In fact, on February 11, he said the police had all the tools they needed to respond. Three days later, he woke up and said this act had to be invoked.
    Can the member help us understand the Liberal prime minister's completely irresponsible behaviour?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague.
    I cannot explain what happened. We are in a democracy. We are supposed to be in a democracy. I doubt it, at the moment.
    I have a hard time realizing that I am in the House, but I feel so privileged to be here and to have a voice. There are people outside who wanted to reach out, who wanted to have a dialogue. They were never given the chance to speak.
    I am not a spokesperson. I am double-vaccinated, I wear a mask, and I do everything I can. I still think that vaccination is the best way out of the pandemic.
    However, it was important to listen, and the government did not listen to the people, the most vulnerable and ordinary people. That is why we are putting ourselves in a dangerous situation right now, and I am very worried about the repercussions.

  (0735)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor in my riding is opening slowly, but the barriers that were on Huron Church Road to block the trucks are now blocking side streets. Those are Jersey barriers put up for security. The OPP, the RCMP and the City of Windsor are all manning those right now. Life is not normal. As I mentioned earlier, children are missing doctor appointments.
    I would like a direct answer from the member. What would he tell those families they are supposed to do? Right now, their lives are in disarray. It is not just businesses, emergency vehicles access or simple things like groceries and trying to get life back to normal, it is also people missing medical appointments, counselling and therapy.
    What would he say to those families right now, because those Jersey barriers that were blocking the bridge are now blocking people from their communities, and they are being left to pay for this by themselves?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Windsor West, who is probably one of the people I respect the most in the House.
    I would simply say that there are many victims we never hear about, including those with mental health issues. The pandemic has probably claimed more victims among people who were ignored, who gave up their freedom, who were locked in rooms, who gave up their health and their lives, and who were unable to get medical appointments.
    Indeed, I think the fact that we are where we are today raises serious questions.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer.
    I rise today to explain to my colleagues in the House and my constituents in Chateauguay—Lacolle the reasons I am supporting this motion, the purpose of which is to confirm the declaration of a public order emergency made by the government under section 17 of the Emergencies Act.
    Canada is a country that upholds the rule of law. By declaring a public order emergency under the Emergencies Act, we are abiding by Canadian law and acting within the framework of the law. Enacted in 1988 by the Mulroney government, the Emergencies Act clearly sets out the criteria for declaring a public order emergency. Our government believes that the situation meets these criteria, hence this action.
    The Emergencies Act contains a number of guarantees and various checks and balances, including parliamentary oversight. That is why we were here until midnight the other night, and that is why we are here at 7 a.m. this morning.
    All measures taken under the act must respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These measures will be time-limited, geographically targeted, reasonable, and proportionate to the threats they are intended to address. The Emergencies Act serves to strengthen and support all police forces across the country. We saw this yesterday on Wellington Street, when police finally managed to form a cordon in order to push back the participants of this illegal protest.
    Six measures have been put in place to control the situation.
    First, public assemblies that lead to a breach of the peace and go beyond lawful protests have been regulated and prohibited. The protests in Ottawa and at the Ambassador Bridge are illegal.
    Second, places where blockades are to be prohibited, including borders, border crossings and other critical infrastructure, have been designated and secured.
    Third, persons have been directed to render essential services to relieve the impacts of blockades on Canada's economy. For instance, tow truck drivers are being compelled to provide their services, with compensation.
    Fourth, financial institutions have been authorized and directed to render essential services to relieve the impacts of blockades, including regulating and prohibiting the use of resources to finance or support the blockades.
    Fifth, the RCMP has been authorized to enforce municipal and provincial laws, as needed.
    Sixth, fines or imprisonment are being imposed.
    We want to use these measures to keep Canadians safe, protect their jobs and restore their confidence in our institutions.
    The Emergencies Act was passed in 1988 by the Mulroney government and also contains several important limits, checks and balances, and guarantees. As required by the act, on several occasions this past week, the Prime Minister and his cabinet consulted the provincial premiers and their respective governments.
    Having declared a public order emergency, we tabled the declaration in Parliament. In the next few days, a parliamentary committee will be established to provide oversight while the state of emergency is in effect.
    The declaration is in effect for only 30 days, unless it is continued. However, the government may also revoke it much sooner. Personally, I hope that will happen. Parliament also has the ability to revoke the declaration, as clearly specified in the act. It also has the power to amend or revoke any order adopted under the act. Furthermore, all orders must be tabled in Parliament within two days of being made by the government for review by parliamentarians.

  (0740)  

    We can certainly ask ourselves how we got here. Why has a declaration of emergency become sadly necessary here in Canada, a country that always ranks high in terms of freedom, democracy and social peace?
    I cannot comment on the police operations here in Ottawa or on the lack of interest shown by the Ontario government, at a time when the City of Ottawa clearly was not able to respond to the threat posed by the protesters here on Wellington Street. Despite the undeniable fact that municipalities are under provincial jurisdiction pursuant to the Constitution Act, 1867, the Ford government dragged its feet and only took action when protests broke out in Windsor and elsewhere in Ontario. I believe Ontarians will be going to the polls soon, and it will be up to them to decide how to judge their elected officials.
    As an MP, my concern is what goes on in the House. As a backbencher, I noticed that since the start of this so-called freedom protest, which quickly became an occupation and an attempted insurrection, some MPs have been exploiting the protest for partisan purposes. They also axed the leader of their own party.
    When these MPs took photos with protesters who were holding flags emblazoned with racist and hate-fuelled symbols, they claimed they had done it inadvertently or, even worse, that there were no such flags there. These members deliberately and egregiously denied and minimized their actions, all while tweeting support for the protest and lending credibility to the organizers and their dangerous plans.
    I could give many more examples of all of the deception being used to sow division. We are well aware that some members in this House are masters of partisan tactics. Their strategy is to divide Canadians in hopes of profiting off of that division. These members should be ashamed of themselves. They are prepared to put our security, our economy and our democracy at risk to further their own partisan ends and advance their political careers, or even simply to get an interview on Fox News.
    Again, I agree with our government that the blockades by both persons and vehicles at various locations throughout Canada represent a state of emergency. These blockades have a direct connection to activities that are directed toward or in support of the threat or use of acts of serious violence against persons or property, including critical infrastructure, for the purpose of achieving a political or ideological objective within Canada.
     I agree that these blockades are having adverse effects on the Canadian economy. Canada's economic security is threatened by the impacts of blockades of critical infrastructure, including trade corridors and international border crossings. These blockades have broken down distribution chains and are hurting Canada's relationship with its trading partners, in particular the United States.
    In response to this state of emergency, our government, with the utmost caution, invoked the Emergencies Act. Canadians across the country can have confidence in the fundamental principles of our beautiful country of Canada: “peace, order and good government”.

  (0745)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, at one point the hon. member asked how we got to this point. She then proceeded to blame everybody else, including Ontario Premier Doug Ford, but failed to place any blame on her own Prime Minister for wedging, stigmatizing and dividing people, calling them racist, misogynist and extremist, and asking whether we have to tolerate these people. What we are seeing in this country, in the manifestation of protests across the country, is a logical conclusion to the identity politics the Prime Minister has played.
    I want to ask a question specific to the Emergencies Act. The order in council released by the government authorized the government to impose other temporary measures authorized under section 19 of the Emergencies Act that are not yet known, which basically gives the Prime Minister and the executive branch of government unfettered power over their citizens. How could anyone, even on that side, logically support that?
    Mr. Speaker, I find a question of that nature on the Emergencies Act very unusual coming from someone in the Conservative Party. It was his own party that wrote the law. I have huge respect for the work that was done by former prime minister Mulroney and the minister—
    On a point of order, the hon. member should know that I am not referring to the act. I am actually referring to the order in council.
    We are getting into debate.
    I will let the member for Châteauguay—Lacolle finish her answer.
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to how we got to this point, there are these things called jurisdiction and due process. Policing needs to happen at the municipal level. When it fails there, it must be the province. The municipality is the creature of the province, and the province did not do its job.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we are all familiar with the saying “do as I say, not as I do”.
    That is what the Liberals are doing right now. It is important for them to have polls to back them up so they can justify resorting to the Emergencies Act. The member for Châteauguay—Lacolle said earlier that over 70% of Quebeckers support its use.
    However, she forgot to mention that only 347 people were surveyed for the poll. The Quebec National Assembly unanimously opposed the use of the Emergencies Act. Seven of the 10 Canadian provinces are also opposed to the invocation of the Emergencies Act. Does this mean nothing to the Liberals?
    What bothers me the most is when the member talks about the rule of law. The rule of law is the opposite of arbitrary law.
    Which of the laws in force today is so inadequate as to justify enacting the Emergencies Act?

  (0750)  

    Mr. Speaker, manipulating statistics is a common tactic.
    The Bloc Québécois members are okay with it when it suits their purposes, but not when it does not. However, Canadians are looking at the situation and seeing with their own eyes what is happening outside.
    They are also seeing that all levels of government are assuming their responsibilities as they should. In fact, I would like to commend the Legault government for what it has done to date.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we are looking at a situation that is completely out of control. In my province of Alberta, 13 armed insurgents have blockaded our infrastructure. We can look outside of the House of Commons. Where we are is very, very upsetting, and we never should have been in this situation.
    How are we going to make sure that we have put things in place so this cannot happen again? What is the government doing to ensure that this cannot happen in the future?
    Mr. Speaker, there are different processes laid out in the law, including setting up a joint committee of parliamentarians and senators. I certainly look forward to seeing that progress and hope to see the hon. member on that committee.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I want to say hello to all of my colleagues on this Saturday morning. It is unusual for the House to sit on a Saturday, but our entire country is dealing with a situation that is quite out of the ordinary.
    We are here to participate in a very important debate on the use of these emergency measures. I am not a lawyer. I do not know and cannot figure out all of the little details, but in my opinion, we need look at only two things. First, the Ottawa Police Service said yesterday that it would be unable to put an end to what is happening in Ottawa and the national capital region without the special measures set out in the Emergencies Act.
    Second, we are here on a Saturday morning. Yesterday, it was not safe enough for MPs or senators to come to Parliament. We made an unusual decision to cancel a sitting of Parliament, which is why we are here on a Saturday morning to hold this debate.
    All of the party leaders in the House—the Conservative Party, the Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Liberal Party—agreed with the Speaker of the House of Commons that something was happening here, that it was not safe, and that parliamentarians could not come to work. That is very uncommon.
    What I would really like to talk about is the other measures applicable to the funding of extremist groups.

  (0755)  

[English]

    I was born in Montreal into one of a few Black families in my area, in a predominantly Jewish neighbourhood in a francophone city, a francophone province, an English country and a largely English continent. I like to consider myself a minority within a minority within a minority within a minority. It offers me an interesting view of things.
    I can see the way the dominant view is carried out because that is the dominant view. It is natural; it is in the air. However, I can also step back a bit and just see things a little ex centrum, or off centre. I have always felt that is a strength. I always think it is an ability to see life a bit more fully: three dimensions instead of two and more colour than just in black and white.
    When I saw what was happening in the lead-up to this convoy, there were things that I was able to see that I do not think other people would see as clearly. Perhaps I am wrong, but give me a chance to explain it.

[Translation]

    We know the convoy organizers are the same people who have tried to organize other protests about random issues. In 2016, we had Motion No. 103 against Islamophobia. They tried to rally folks and spark a grassroots protest against the motion. I am talking about Tamara Lich, Benjamin Dichter, James Bauder and Patrick King. Those very same people tried to get Canadians up in arms so they could spread their white supremacist way of thinking.
    They failed in 2016, so they tried again last year with the United We Roll campaign. Again, there was not much buy-in.
    This time, they succeeded for one good reason: Canadians are tired. Everyone is exhausted. Nobody likes the pandemic, nobody likes restrictions and nobody likes lockdowns. The virus does not care what we think. Canadians are exhausted, and these people took advantage of that general sense of fatigue.
    The people who showed up to express their disagreement with mandatory vaccination, lockdown measures and all the other measures implemented by federal, provincial and municipal governments have the right to do so. I am not talking about those people.
    The people I am talking about are the organizers who exploit that exhaustion to recruit people on social media and spread messages of hate. We know very well that algorithms enable groups on social media to use extremist statements to attract other people, who then make more frequent appearances online. There is no way to avoid that. When people are constantly exposed to hate, they eventually start buying into that way of thinking.
    In 2016, when Motion No. 103 was moved, the movement engaged some 10,000 people on Facebook, according to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. They spread their message and, at one point, they had almost 200,000 subscribers, which was unheard of.

  (0800)  

[English]

    They hit gold. They now have what is estimated to be over a million people on Facebook. This one million people they have identified do not know what is about to hit them. They are going to get messages over and over again, hateful messages, intolerant messages and misinformation, and guess what? They are also going to be solicited for money. Look at the money that has come in.
    All of us in the House face very strict financing rules. With the transparency and financing rules, we can only give a maximum of $1,650. That is a good thing. When we give to a charity, there is a whole bunch of transparency and reporting when it happens. Guess what happens when these folks give through crowdsourcing? There is nothing. There is no transparency, not at all. They raised $16 million on one site and another $16 million on another, 40% to 50% of which, it is estimated, came from outside the country. The names are ridiculous. It says Mickey Mouse gave and so did the current Prime Minister. He obviously did not contribute. That is not good.
    The financial measures we have are for good reason. If nothing else, it was worth putting them in the orders. I hope that legislation will follow so that on a permanent basis we can get this kind of wrong money out of the Canadian political system.
    Mr. Speaker, we heard the justice minister, just two days ago, talk about the financial measures that the member opposite referenced and say that they are going to be used to target people who have political views, not hateful or intolerant views but views that he finds unacceptable. They are going to be targeted by these financial measures included in this law.
    The concern that we should have in this place—
    It's foreign interference; you're right.
    Mr. Speaker, while the member for Winnipeg North knows not to interject, he talks about foreign interference. We are talking about Canadians having Canadian bank accounts frozen because they have political views that the justice minister does not like. That is not a liberal democracy. It is, frankly, illiberal and I would like to know how the member opposite can, in good conscience, support this kind of gross overreach and infringement on Canadians' charter rights.
    With great ease, Mr. Speaker, because this money is not going to normal political speech. Let them give donations to those who want to support this, but they are giving money that is anonymous, that is unverified and that can come from foreign sources to get to politics through the back door as opposed to the front.
    Who were the people collecting and distributing this money before it was shut down? Are Lich, Barber and King the people we want to have access to this funding, which people gave in good faith because they wanted to talk about vaccine mandates but is being used for completely different purposes? There needs to be some transparency on it.
    If the hon. member had listened to me carefully, he would have heard me say that this is a great temporary measure now and that we should pass a law to deal with this going forward.

  (0805)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for his speech, which contained some very interesting nuances.
    My question is about the truckers who were on the street. Once again, there are not many left this morning. Does my colleague really believe that the measures that have been implemented, such as seizing bank accounts and trucks or closing mortgage accounts, will have an impact on truckers, most of whom are from here, by which I mean Canadian?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question.
    Again, the answer is yes. In the news, we clearly saw a trucker who was part of the blockade here in Ottawa saying that he had to leave because he had received a notice from his bank informing him that if he did not leave the illegal blockade, his assets could be seized. He added that he employs 55 people.
    It has worked. It will prevent potential blockades from happening in Windsor. We also heard from the Ottawa Police Service and the Windsor Police Service that with these measures, they finally had the ability to prevent—
    Order. It is time for questions and comments.
    The hon. member for North Island—Powell River.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I hope all of us in the House are taking on the serious responsibility of the decisions we are making here.
    The member opposite and I have had conversations about both of us being parents to children from the BIPOC community and how worrisome it is. On this planet and in this world in which we live, when we send them out the door, just because of who they are, we do not know that they are always safe. As we talk about implementing this act, I wonder if the member could talk about how we will make sure we are accountable for every step and be rigorous so that we protect all people in this country.
    Mr. Speaker, what I really like about this piece of legislation, and I would like to congratulate Brian Mulroney and his government for having introduced it, is that the Charter of Rights applies to it at all times. It is fixed for a certain amount of time and parliamentarians have to come together to talk about it. I have every confidence because it is targeted, it is appropriate and especially it is time-limited.
    Mr. Speaker, we find ourselves here, this morning, discussing another attempt by the Liberal government to make a mad grab at power, a gross overreach. We have seen it before.
    We know that the Liberal-NDP alliance have started their heckles because they want to silence me, just like they want to silence people they do not agree with.
     We know that, at the very beginning of this pandemic, the first thing the Liberal government attempted to do was make a mad grab at power. It wanted the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money and to raise taxes, to tax Canadians as it saw fit, without parliamentary oversight, for nearly two years.
    Her Majesty's loyal opposition was awake at that late hour, and we stepped up. We stopped that overreach. Here we are, at an early hour on a Saturday morning, in an extraordinary sitting of this place, while the government looks to use extraordinary processes to attack people they disagree with. We heard from the justice minister. He said it on TV for all to hear that, if people have political views that he disagrees with, the government is coming for their bank accounts.
    If people agree with the justice minister and have the same distaste for the same politicians, maybe this time they are not worried. However, what about the precedent that it sets when a future government that has a different political view goes after the bank accounts of their enemies or people it disagrees with?
    We, in this place, have a responsibility to safeguard the rights of all Canadians. We have heard a lot of talk about the impact in downtown Ottawa, so I want to start with that. The residents of downtown Ottawa have seen protests and celebrations in their neighbourhoods for years. It is a feature, normally, of living at the heart of Canada's democracy. As of late, it has been anything but. Many of them are now represented in a class action lawsuit against the protesters.
    I would like to, for the House, share what their lawyer, a fixture in the human rights legal community, has to say about the government's invocation of the act:
    [This] seriously infringes on the Charter rights of Canadians.
    That is the lawyer representing the folks downtown in Ottawa. He said:
...I am acutely aware of the trauma experienced by Ottawa residents, I fully agree that the Emergencies Act is a dangerous tool that was not required.
    Who better to pronounce on the urgency of the situation in downtown Ottawa than the human rights lawyer who is representing the downtown Ottawa residents?
    Let us talk about the other remedies that have been used to address people as part of this movement. At the Ambassador Bridge, the Windsor border crossing, we saw police of jurisdiction resolve the blockade of our international border. They did it over a two-day period without the use of the Emergencies Act. In Coutts, Alberta, we saw the same result with the existing resources and the existing laws. The police of local jurisdiction there, through police intelligence, identified that there were weapons and ammunition at a nearby site, and they effectively interdicted it without a shot being fired, using the local laws and the local resources. It was not an emergency.
    We had the greatest public health crisis in more than a century, which the government presided over, and an economic downturn, the worst in a century, which the government presided over. It deemed neither emergencies. We have an opioid crisis where people are dying on our streets every day, and the government does not declare that an emergency. It is not taking extraordinary steps to deal with that.

  (0810)  

    However, it goes back to that power grab and it goes back to a pattern that we have seen with this Prime Minister. Every time that he finds someone he disagrees with, and this is no exception, he dismisses them, he degrades them and he dehumanizes them. This includes millions of Canadians because they disagree with him. He said they hold unacceptable views and they take up space. He said they are mostly misogynists and racists. The majority of Canadians, millions of these same Canadians, have said that any signs or expressions of hate or intolerance are unacceptable. They condemn them and I condemn them.
     Anyone who commits an illegal act is individually accountable for that, but we have laws to address that. The charges that are being laid in Ottawa are for mischief and “conspiracy to commit”. We do not require an Emergencies Act to deal with these things. We have a public order operation taking place on the streets of Ottawa. It is not an national emergency.
     However, it sure was a great opportunity for this Prime Minister to do those things that he does best: to divide Canadians. That is not the job of a Prime Minister, and it is a shame that he finds common cause among the government benches and with the third party in the House. History will not be kind to those who approve of this illiberal power grab. That is not who we are as Canadians.
    Many of the folks who are protesting at different places across Canada, who are raising their voices, are tired. We are all tired of COVID. They wanted a plan. They wanted to know how far until we get to that off-ramp because many of them, including those I have met and spoken to in front of this place, are vaccinated. Some of them are not. They just want to know when it is going to be over.
    We gave the government an opportunity to present a plan. We asked for it a year ago. We did it again in the last week. The government refused to provide a plan. Meanwhile, those who are following the science, science presented by people like Dr. Moore in Ontario, have signalled when the COVID measures will end in the jurisdictions that they are responsible for.
    Before these folks arrived in Ottawa or at those other locations in Canada, Dr. Tam, representing the Public Health Agency of Canada, said that the government needed a new plan. We have not heard that from the government, because this is a great opportunity to pit neighbour against neighbour, family member against family member. It is an opportunity this Prime Minister never misses.
    We are wide awake this morning. We have seen what the government has tried to do and we are here to say that it is not acceptable. It is not our Canada. Folks who want to protest absolutely have the right to do that. Folks who want to use their right to freedom of expression absolutely have a right to do that, and there is a place for that on the lawn of Parliament Hill.
     The folks who are moved through the public order measures out front, or who have moved on days ago after visiting the seat of our democracy, need to come to the appropriate places to protest, which are the lawns of their city halls and provincial legislatures and the lawn of Parliament Hill, and exercise their rights, balanced with the responsibility of doing so in a lawful way. That is what Canadians do. They do not try to effect extraordinary measures that subvert the regular rule of law and the charter rights that Canadians hold sacred.
     This Prime Minister knows better. His ministers know better and the back benches know better. Let us find out, when we vote on this, if they are prepared to tell Canadians that this really is a country that respects the rule of law, a liberal democracy. Let us find out what Canada really stands for.

  (0815)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is good to hear the member opposite, with whom I served on the ethics committee, talking about a Liberal democracy. There are different tactics that can be used to discredit one's adversary. There is discrediting someone with a constant barrage of insults and slurs. There is distraction, deflection or “whataboutism”. All of these are used to divide people.
    Which tactic is he using today?
    Mr. Speaker, I talk about a Liberal democracy because the government of this country is represented by the illiberal party of Canada, it would appear. The tactic I am using today is reminding the government of the foundation of our democracy, which is the rights of Canadians. When citizens are afraid of their government, and that is the goal the government seeks, they have got it backwards. The government should be afraid of its citizens because our citizens hold the power. That is the key to freedom.

  (0820)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes for his comments.
    I would like to ask him a simple question.
    Why was the Quebec government able to control and resolve a similar situation in two days, without using the Emergencies Act?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the premier of Quebec was able to effect that result in the same way that Toronto was able to effect the same result as they did in Montreal or in Quebec City, which was by using the existing laws of the local jurisdiction and using their existing resources. That is exactly what could be done here in Ottawa. It is what was done in Windsor, it is what was done in Coutts and it is what is being done elsewhere. We are seeing the government try to confuse Canadians and conflate a couple of issues so it can make an unjust grab at power.
    Mr. Speaker, one of the things I really hope we are going to get out of this is a full inquiry into the complete breakdown of law in Ottawa that allowed this thing to metastasize, and the fact that dark money was used from America and the Cayman Islands. These issues have to be fully investigated.
    I know the interim Leader of the Opposition thought this was a real opportunity to let this thing drag on, and said day after day to go out, meet and talk with the leaders. Chris Barber is a vicious racist who likes truckers as long as they are white. Tamara Lich is a woman who wants to break up our country. I know some of the Conservatives do not have a problem with that. Pat King is a man who talks openly about shooting the Prime Minister of the country. I have never, ever heard a single Conservative stand up and say that those views are fundamentally wrong. There is a problem in our nation when we decide that it is okay to burn down the house of democracy to watch the Prime Minister jump out the window, or to support people who talk about killing the Prime Minister.
    I want to hear the member condemn that language.
    Mr. Speaker, I condemn it. I also condemn the member opposite's party supporting this grab at power and propping up its coalition partners in the Liberal Party. I am not sure what rationale was given behind closed doors, because we have not heard the rationale. We have laid out very clearly that the laws of local jurisdiction are effective enough. Instead, the government looks to settle scores with its political foes by using an unprecedented power grab, and it is unacceptable.
    Mr. Speaker, I feel that the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes may, in rewatching his remarks, regret any sense of equivalency between condemning people calling for the killing of our Prime Minister and the decision made by the NDP to vote in favour of the declaration.
    The hon. member said that the declaration would allow the freezing of bank accounts for people the government does not agree with. I think I have this right. I am not sure how I am going to vote on this. I really want clarity around what the thresholds are for the government interfering in the bank accounts of anyone. I want to see that clarity. I do not think it is right to mislead Canadians into thinking that this law would allow the threshold that, if someone dislikes or disagrees with someone else, their bank accounts would be frozen.
    Would the member like to clarify this?
    Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, the following is a question from Evan Solomon, the host of CTV's Power Play, to the Minister of Justice:
    A lot of folks said, “I just don’t like your vaccine mandates and I donated to this, now it’s illegal, should I be worried that the bank can freeze my account?”
    The Minister of Justice responded:
    If you are a member of a pro-Trump movement who is donating hundreds of thousands of dollars, and millions of dollars to this kind of thing, then you ought to be worried.
    If someone supports Donald Trump, the government is coming after them. That is unacceptable in a Liberal democracy.
    Mr. Speaker, it is discomforting to stand here today. It is a sad and dark time for our country. Unfortunately, this does not overstate current events.
    I have watched with concern the lawlessness paralyzing Ottawa and key border crossings in Ontario and other provinces. Never before has the Emergencies Act been invoked. It has sat on the shelf during some quite challenging moments in our country.
    Viewed as a last resort, this act gives the federal government enhanced powers in times of crisis. Its justification and intricacies of procedures are being worked through the House for the first time. There is no precedent. Instead, we are making precedent. The arguments we make, the evidence we evaluate and the tone we take will be judged by future generations.
    Everyone has the right to peacefully protest any government policies. This is a fundamental freedom in a democracy. It protects the rights of individuals to express their views, even when those views are not shared by everyone. While these protests are a fundamental part of democracy, so too is the rule of law. We cannot allow prolonged blockades or barriers that paralyze trade corridors, pipelines, railways, supply routes, ports or urban cores at any time. We are not at liberty to decide which laws should apply in some situations but not others.
    In a rule-of-law country, consistency matters. It is the foundation upon which legal precedent is built. People who join protests to encourage violence or the overthrow of government undermine democracy, but let us be very clear. Not everyone who has participated in these protests is looking to overthrow the government. Many are looking just to be heard, peacefully. To them I say that we hear them. I hear them.
    Somewhere along the way, we entered a state of lawlessness, but the answer to lawlessness cannot be more lawlessness. The government is asking us to suspend certain laws to deal with those breaking others. We are being asked to undermine democratic principles to address some who wish to see democracy itself undermined.
    The threshold for invoking the act is supposed to be high, and quite rightly. This is a temporary law that will give the government awesome and extraordinary powers: powers to freeze assets with no recourse, and to compel citizens to act contrary to their own interests in favour of the state's.
    In the House, just days ago, the Prime Minister presented a timeline. He held a cabinet meeting on Sunday and a caucus meeting on Monday, followed by a meeting with premiers and finally a press conference on Monday afternoon. Why did it take days for the Prime Minister to address the House, and what evidence has he presented?
    It is difficult to determine whether the government is justified without adequate information. There were no briefings. No secret intelligence has been shared. Whether it is incompetence or malfeasance is truly regrettable.
    Why was the committee not struck immediately? Is there evidence pointing to significantly compromised public safety or impending danger? Should that not have been made immediately available to members, or at least a subset representing all parties? If we wanted to take the politics out of this, information would have been made immediately available. Otherwise, a conclusion might be that this was politics.
    Why do ministers of the Crown opt first to give details to media before the House? Ministers have held press conferences and conducted interviews implying that terrorists are at the steps of Parliament, but have offered the House no evidence. Is it then surprising that Canadians are losing faith in our public institutions? Perhaps it is because the Prime Minister and the government have shown the House and institution little respect.
    After all, at the beginning of the pandemic, the government proposed giving itself unlimited spending powers for almost two years without the oversight of Parliament. The same government prorogued Parliament to frustrate a committee investigation. To this day, we still have not seen the Winnipeg lab documents that members of the House have asked the government to provide. Forgive me for being skeptical that this move is justified without seeing the evidence.
    We must not understate the impact of the ability for individuals to have their bank accounts frozen. This will not just be a 30-day impact. It could affect their ability to receive financial services for 30 years or more. Individuals whose relationship with the state has already been strained, if not completely severed, will be further ostracized from broader society.
    This power must be used sparingly, if at all, and the government has provided very little detail on how it intends to use this power. For example, what is the process through which individuals will be identified? Will these powers be confined to protest organizers, or will they apply to anyone who has shown up to Parliament Hill or donated to the cause, no matter how large or small the amount? What recourse, if any, do individuals have against financial institutions if these powers have been mistakenly or unevenly applied?

  (0825)  

    These powers are not merely incidental. They should not be dismissed, downplayed or underestimated. I approach every decision with an open mind, but the consequences for individuals are too great, and the precedent this sets is too monumental to waive away legitimate questions or concerns. We are setting a dangerous precedent.
    We should be very careful before we use the awesome power of the state. That this moment is the seminal moment upon which we would decide to invoke a never-before-used act seems disproportional, when there are other actions that the government could have taken.
    We should be very careful about normalizing the use of a blunt tool in circumstances such as these. If we must consider using the Emergencies Act every time there's a protest that lasts over a certain period of time, we have much bigger problems. In many ways, that the government has resorted to invoking this act is an indictment of its overall handling of the situation.
    I am therefore left with no reason but to impress upon my colleagues that the threshold has not been met, and as a matter of law, If I am wrong, the threshold has been seen to be met by a court that the government is not justified in its use of the act.
    While the Emergencies Act is the question before the House today, we should reflect on what has led us here and the lessons we may draw for the future. The hallmark of any democracy is the ability to have reasonable debates with each other about how society functions, but somewhere along the way, we have lost the ability to listen to each other or to consider the perspectives of our neighbours. We are too quick to call something black or white and too quick to demand that each other pick a side. Pro or against, right or left, we leave little room for nuance, reflection or compromise anymore. It should be okay to disagree.
    I am sympathetic to those who are frustrated with the pandemic and the government's response. Many of us are frustrated. We are frustrated with overly punitive travel restrictions and redundant and confusing testing requirements, and we are worried about losing livelihoods because of making a medical decision.
    We have seen rules that seem more often grounded in politics than in science. This has left deep divisions in society that will take some time to heal. It has been a long two years, and there are no clean hands in this battle of rhetoric.
    It is therefore up to all of us to be part of the solution. I am left to consider whether I could have been quicker to call out abhorrent behaviour, or how I could have shown greater empathy to my neighbours. What can I do now to be a positive actor inside and outside of the House?
    The tone must start from the top. The Prime Minister must be hopeful, because Canadians need to see a hopeful way ahead. Continued hyperpoliticization will only make the situation worse. It is not leadership when a prime minister discounts and dismisses the views of millions of Canadians with whom he disagrees. It stigmatizes, sows division and escalates.
    We must show empathy over judgment, promote dialogue over silence and prefer persuasion over coercion. We must be looking for opportunities to de-escalate. We need to bring people closer instead of pushing them further away.
    Great leaders possess the capability of self-reflection. We must acknowledge the possibility that people descended on our nation's capital, or crowded overpasses across the country, in part because of their frustration with being demeaned and marginalized for political gain. It suggests that self-reflection is required.
    In 2013, the Prime Minister, as the leader of the opposition, said, “The role of the prime minister is to build a stronger country, not make it easier to break apart.” This is a time for leadership. This is the prime minister I would like to see show up for work. Canadians are depending on him.

  (0830)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague on the tone of his comments today.
    It would be a much better reflection on all of us if we continued to seek out the things that we can agree on and tried to solve some of these problems at the end of the day, not make them worse. Canadians are watching this debate.
    I watched events yesterday, as many of us did. With all of what I heard my colleague say, I heard interim chief Steve Bell, other former police chiefs and RCMP leaders say clearly that they could not have done what they did yesterday, which is only part of resolving this issue, without the Emergencies Act.
    Did the member not hear the same things that I heard yesterday? Does he not agree that this is an important piece of legislation for all of us to support and move forward?

  (0835)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened to the same press conference yesterday, and what I heard the chief of police say was that it was helpful to have the emergency measures act.
    I know we like to debate semantics a lot in this House, and I am sure we will for the rest of today and into tomorrow, but something that helps to accomplish something is different from something being absolutely necessary to use. I think that is a significant difference. We will get to the bottom of this. I am sure there will be an inquiry and lots of time to play armchair quarterback, but that is what I heard when listening to the chief of police's response yesterday.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I sincerely thank my hon. colleague from Simcoe North for his remarks. We may have just heard the most constructive and balanced speech we will hear in this debate. I find this very comforting, and it gives me confidence for the future. I offer my sincere congratulations to my hon. colleague.
    I would like to hear more from my colleague. Basically, this is about our democracy and the message we are sending to Canadians. I wonder if my colleague could talk about how we should be communicating with Canadians and what message we want to send, particularly through the media. Is the government being selective in that regard? In the current context, is the government using the media, the people and the army for political purposes?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I say thank you to the hon. member and I look forward to the day when I can stand in this House and respond in the member's first language of French. I hope to be able to do that by the time I leave this place.
    It is very important for all Canadians to recognize that we have become very polarized in the media. My hon. colleague brought up the media. We can choose which views to insulate ourselves with, but I think it is important for all of us to keep an open mind. At the end of the day, the question is whether the government is justified in using and bringing down the awesome power of the state when perhaps it was possible to use other means. We saw resolutions at other border crossings that had been blocked without the use of the Emergencies Act, and I think the question we must ask ourselves is whether this response is proportional. Is the punishment proportional?
    Mr. Speaker, I am good friends with Bruce Stanton, as are many members of Parliament, who was the exceptional member of Parliament for Simcoe North. I would like to say, through you, to the current member for Simcoe North that his speech today displayed the same high level of parliamentarianship that we have come to expect from Simcoe North, and I am happy to say that it continues.
    I think the member would acknowledge that the people of Ottawa have suffered enormously through this occupation. We have seen thousands of jobs eliminated, small businesses close and permanent injury caused to the residents of downtown Ottawa. The pollution, noise and intimidation have been unbelievable. Given that, there is an importance for parliamentarians to respond. As he said, we have to ensure that our neighbours are taken care of.
    There have been a couple of proclamations under the Emergencies Act. As one of our colleagues mentioned, the police have said that the measures that were put in place through those two sets of regulations have made a real difference with respect to additional people not coming to the Hill. So far, we have escaped serious injury.
    Would the member agree with me that the fact that thousands of people were unable to join the call of the convoy leaders to join them on Parliament Hill this weekend has potentially saved lives and certainly saved people from—
    The hon. member for Simcoe North may give a short answer.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the question and for mentioning the great work of the former member for Simcoe North, Bruce Stanton, whom I hold in great respect.
    Again I think it comes down to proportionality. We saw court injunctions used quite effectively. A young woman went to court and received an injunction to stop the trucks from honking their horns, and that day it stopped for a significant period of time, so the question should be whether the act is necessary and was absolutely the last resort for the government to use. I will wait to see the answers.

  (0840)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Egmont.

[English]

    It is with sadness that I rise in this House this morning because of the circumstances outside of our Parliament, but with the privilege to bring the voice of our community of Orléans, a community that has sent me once again to the House of Commons in 2021 with the clear understanding of the importance of the public health measures.
    We are here today to debate the motion regarding the invocation of the Emergencies Act. This law, the Emergencies Act, was passed in 1988, bringing in new parliamentary oversight through a requirement for compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and we invoked it on February 14.
    As a society, we need to put this in perspective with the values we all share, particularly democracy and the rule of law. From an Orléans perspective, many people have called in the last 22 days.

[Translation]

    After two years of the pandemic, a general sense of fatigue had set in, but thanks to an extraordinarily high vaccination rate, the stress levels of families and business owners were beginning to come down. The hope of returning to some semblance of a normal life was on the horizon. It was palpable.

[English]

    Then a convoy of trucks decided to overstay their welcome in our national capital. We are now at Saturday, day 23. People, neighbours, family members and residents, when I do my groceries at our local stores, have shared their thoughts with me. They want us to do something.
    After working hard with our municipal partner and after the City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency on January 6, the Province of Ontario followed in declaring a state of emergency as well on February 11. We need to understand what our downtown businesses and its residents have endured for the past 23 days.
    I was a former business owner in Orléans before politics. As exciting as it was to own a business and be an entrepreneur, it is hard work. We have payments to make, payroll to look after, employees to manage and rent to pay. Business owners in Orléans and in Ottawa are our neighbours and our friends. They are people we have gotten to know, people we have developed friendships and relationships with. It has been hard for them since the beginning of the pandemic.
    My heart goes out to the people who live and reside in downtown Ottawa and to the businesses that were expecting to open on January 31. They were looking ahead to happier days. They were looking to do what they love to do. They were hoping to open their businesses. They were hoping to be there for their employees, and I have to say that we were hoping to support them.
    I have to say it again: Small businesses are the heart of our economy. I speak monthly with my local BIA, the Heart of Orléans BIA. We know our businesses needed our government's support since the beginning of this pandemic, and we did. We brought in several measures to support them.
    I will repeat that January 31 was to be a new beginning for our businesses. It was supposed to be a good day for them, since the provincial Progressive Conservative government here in Ontario was loosening public health measures. Unfortunately, it was not for our downtown businesses.
     We have worked so hard for the past two years. We have joined forces among each other for the better good of our communities, our provinces and our country. We have listened to the experts. We did what had to be done to see our loved ones and to protect our seniors.

  (0845)  

[Translation]

    We were hoping for a return to normalcy at last, but that did not happen for everyone. It was a very different situation for residents and merchants downtown, who were denied this opportunity.

[English]

    It is because they had to suffer from this illegal blockade, and this is not acceptable.

[Translation]

    It is hard for me to explain how I feel about this illegal blockade. For 23 days, we have been unable to enjoy the beauty of the capital, move freely in the streets, socialize with our friends or get to our place of work.
    What can I say about the impact of this illegal blockade on the quality of life of the residents, on the health of our students and that of people living with a disability? What can I say about the impact on our social stability, our mental health and our environment?
    That is why we are here now. That is why the government invoked the Emergencies Act. We have to put an end to this nightmare.

[English]

    We are now at a point where the government felt the need to invoke the Emergencies Act to supplement provincial and municipal capacity to address this illegal blockade.
    I want to reinforce that the emergency declaration would be for a maximum period of 30 days. These measures are targeted, temporary and proportionate. We are invoking them only after exhausting all options. They will allow the RCMP to enforce municipal, provincial and federal laws; allow the federal government to mobilize essential services, such as tow trucks; give new authorities to law enforcement to regulate crowds, prohibit blockades and keep essential infrastructure open; and provide enhanced power to stop the flow of money supporting the blockades. That is important for the people who are listening here in Orléans to understand.
    Let me be clear with respect to what invoking these measures will not do: It will not invoke the military, it would not limit our freedom, it would not limit a peaceful assembly and it would not suspend fundamental rights.
    Sometimes when we talk about Ottawa among friends and family, we make comparisons with other capitals or cities, and we sometimes describe Ottawa as a quiet, not too lively city. Well, I can absolutely assure them that today I stand in this House to say that I am looking forward to once again enjoying my quiet city, my quiet downtown, where we can walk with our family, where we can enjoy time with our children visiting a museum, for example, and where we can go to see our loved ones or just have a safe and simple walk in our neighbourhood with our favourite pets.
    Mr. Speaker, I have a constituent who wanted me to ask a question about outside interference in our democracy.
    Klaus Schwab is the head of the World Economic Forum, and he bragged how his subversive WEF has “infiltrated” governments around the world. He said that his organization had penetrated more than half of Canada's cabinet.
    In the interests of transparency, could the member please name which cabinet ministers are on board with the WEF's agenda? My concern is the—
    Order. The member was in a really good question there, but the audio and the video are really bad. I apologize. Let us try again.
    The hon. member—
    Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order.
    That member was openly promoting disinformation. That is not debate. We have to call out disinformation—
    We are getting into debate again.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Lambton—Kent—Middlesex.
    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague talked about how this piece of legislation does not take away freedom of speech or freedom of assembly, but we have come to a point where people from all over the country felt that they did not have a voice. We are at a point where we have used the biggest thing that the government can do to silence the voices of Canadians who are here to be heard.
    What are the first, second and third things that the government did to avoid getting to the place we are at now with this piece of legislation?

  (0850)  

    Mr. Speaker, that is a very good question because it gives me the opportunity to share what the government has done since the very beginning. We have been in touch with our municipal and provincial partners.
    Since we are talking about democracy, I need to share a story with the House. Before entering federal politics, I was a provincial member of Parliament. Every single Thursday, a Canadian of Asian descent went to the grounds of Queen's Park to recite all day long, in a language that I did not understand, his thoughts about the world. As a Canadian, I was proud to listen. I know that in other countries people do not have a chance to do this, and what we have seen here is not a peaceful protest.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, there are two elements to this order, and the main one has to do with the economy. Yesterday, it was demonstrated that the banks had frozen the accounts of some of the truckers, as well as the loans tied to their trucks. Now that that has been done and the truckers have gone home, will these restrictions be lifted, and when will it happen?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. As parliamentarians and as a government, it is not for us to dictate police instructions and operations or what the justice system is currently doing. I will leave that to the people who are better qualified than I am when it comes to the legal process that has been triggered in the past few days. I would just note that the GoFundMe page has stopped supporting the participants of the illegal blockades here in Ottawa, because it became apparent that these people may not have had the best of intentions.

[English]

    Qujannamiik, Uqaqtittiji. The ideologies associated with these extremists and the symbols we have seen waving through the blockade are dangerous. This has been well organized by leaders of extremist groups. Arrests that started yesterday continue today. We still see the extremists rooted on Wellington Street. The leaders of the extremist groups must be held accountable for their actions with the full extent of the law.
    Does the member for Orléans agree that these extremists have taken extraordinary measures to endanger our democracy and that we need to do our duty to ensure these ideologies do not spread further?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her very delicate question. From the beginning, we have seen people brandishing hateful flags and encouraging conversations that go as far as to say that the Prime Minister of Canada should die, that he should be killed. I agree with her that in Canada, we must deal with issues involving extremists.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I am, with mixed emotion, rising this morning to participate in the debate currently in the House. I say that because I have had many, many constituents of mine reach out to me about the troubling situation that was occurring here in their nation's capital. They were concerned about what was happening to the people living here in Ottawa, from the far distance of Prince Edward Island. However, they were also concerned about the tone of the dialogue that was occurring around the situation. Those constituents asked me why governments, in the plural, were allowing this to occur, why government could not take action.
    In standing here today and listening to a lot of the debate, I note the discussion has been around protests. I have been in public life a long time. I have been the focus of many protests. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, you may have had a few as a provincial politician. Let us not gloss over what was happening here in the streets of Ottawa and call it a protest, which all politicians and parliamentarians have faced over the years. People have the right to protest. They have the right to peaceful protest. As I indicated, I have been the focus of a number of them. I fully respect the right of citizens to protest and express their displeasure with the actions of government at any time. However, we have to do it in a peaceful format. We have to do it with respect.
    Let us be clear. What we have witnessed here in Ottawa is not a protest. Let us call it what it is: It is an unlawful occupation. It was meant to intimidate people and it was meant to intimidate parliamentarians.
    Anybody who wants to take the time to educate and familiarize themselves with the objectives of the leadership of this group should take pause for concern and reflection. That is what has been so disheartening about watching this over the last three weeks. What was disguised as a trucker's protest was hijacked by individuals with ulterior motives. They are available for anybody to see. This cannot be tolerated by any government or any parliamentarian. No individual or group of individuals have the right to so blatantly trample the rights of other individuals, as we have witnessed here in Ottawa over the past several weeks.
    It is fundamental that government protect the rights of all individuals, but to participate in an unlawful occupation chanting “freedom”, while at the same time having such a blatant disregard for the freedoms and the mental stability and well-being of our fellow citizens, is just wrong. We can look at the interviews with people here in Ottawa. People with disabilities have been traumatized, forced to stay in their own homes. They cannot get out as they are scared. That is not the peaceful protest that this country promotes and endorses. That is, as we have called it, an unlawful protest. We cannot diminish the significance of the difference between the protests that have occurred across this country and those that were intent on overthrowing a government. Anybody who wants to can take the time to look at the objectives of the organizers of this group, what they are doing, who was supporting them and who was funding them. All parliamentarians should be concerned.

  (0855)  

    The government took the action required to bring this unlawful occupation under control. I want to acknowledge and commend the men and women serving in uniform who are ensuring the laws of this country are being upheld. What we are witnessing is the removal of an unlawful occupation by a professional police force in a democratic country. That is what is occurring on the streets of Ottawa today: a professional police force operating under the rule of law in a democratic country. That is why we elect Parliament and that is why we elect government. It is to give the authorities and legal tools necessary to ensure no individuals' rights are trampled on by a few championing that they are there to protect their freedoms.
    This debate will go on for a number of days, and it is interesting to listen to the various perspectives. I have been here for the last three weeks and I have watched it. In fact, I have witnessed some of the hate myself. When I was walking with my parliamentary assistant, he was told by a protester to go back to where he came from because he is brown. It was said in a very racist and harassing tone. My assistant has the same rights that I do because he is Canadian. We have to ensure that Parliament does not succumb to the hate that gets displayed by a few. We cannot champion it. Even by association, we cannot allow it to be legitimized as being right.
    That is why I am speaking today. The people I represent in Egmont make up a community that embraces respect, and they support one another. It is a population that is proud of Canada and supports the unity of this country.
    Something that has disturbed me over the last several weeks comes from watching one party. It was interesting. The combined failed leadership of the Conservative Party united with the interim leader of the Conservative Party, who united with the aspiring future leader of the Conservative Party, who by association was attempting to legitimize this unlawful protest. It was disturbing that the failed combined leadership of the Conservative Party, with the present leadership and the aspiring future leadership, by association, was attempting to legitimize this unlawful occupation.
    As a parliamentarian, I will always stand for the rule of law. I will always support legislation that protects the rights of individuals and does not allow any individual to claim their right to participate in an unlawful occupation while trampling over the rights of other individuals.

  (0900)  

    Mr. Speaker, it has been interesting to follow this debate and hear the justification Liberal members have to support this unprecedented government overreach through the Emergencies Act. What is interesting are the assumptions Liberals members, specifically, have about these protesters, and those assumptions kind of fall in line with everything the Prime Minister has accused the protestors of being, that being that they are all racist and misogynist. It is really unfortunate.
    We have also heard members recognize the fact that Canadians are tired of this pandemic. They are tired, and they want to see a light at the end of the tunnel. With the recognition that Canadians are tired of the pandemic and mandates, why did the hon. member vote against our motion last week for the government to table a plan so Canadians could see an end to the mandates and have hope?

  (0905)  

    Mr. Speaker, I was very specific. I referenced the leadership of this unlawful protest, not the combination of people on the street.
    I voted against the motion by the Conservative Party because I will not support motions that are, and this may be unparliamentary, hypocritical. I am saying that because the majority of the mandates have been put in place by the provincial governments.
    Let me clear for the record. I support the mandates and the measures taken by the Government of Prince Edward Island under the leadership of Premier King. I did not have the benefit of the medical advice that he was given, but I assume he acted on that advice in the best interest of Islanders.
    That is why it will be in conjunction with provincial governments that these mandates will be eased.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Egmont for his speech, which I would describe as quite constructive.
    His speech was much more constructive than those of many of his colleagues, who seem to want to spread propaganda. I can also say that one other member has been constructive, and that is the member for Hull—Aylmer. I encourage all Liberal government members to adopt that same attitude.
    I would like to ask the member the same question as the one my colleague from Rivière-des-Mille-Îles asked.
    Do the government MPs realize the consequences for people whose bank accounts have been frozen?
    I get the impression that the government is making all this up as it goes and has no answer to that question. It seems like the government cannot understand the consequences of the measures it has implemented.
    Could the member for Egmont enlighten me on that? If not, could he get back to me by Monday night?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, as a parliamentarian, I will support all legislation that seeks out, terminates and uncovers illicit funds that are coming in from foreign bank accounts to create turmoil in a democratic country.
    Mr. Speaker, since this has been brewing, I have heard nothing but divisive language used in the House. It is like poking the beast of extremists. Leaders of this movement have ties to white nationalist movements, as we witnessed with some of those who were arrested yesterday, and they have hijacked movements for other purposes.
    Why did the government let this go on for so long? Why did the government allow it to get so out of control that we are seeing what is happening right now? I also wonder if my hon. colleague, now that we have witnessed police hugging extremists in some cases, feels it is necessary to do a public inquiry into policing in this country.
    Mr. Speaker, the obvious answer is that there is due process. The government must follow due process. The primary police force was that of the City of Ottawa, with its municipal police force. Then it went to the Province of Ontario and then the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada followed that process until the situation was addressed by the Government of Ontario.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Hamilton Centre.
    I am always proud to stand in the House. I am certainly not proud of where we are today as a nation, but I am proud to be here, because when we are facing a crisis of this nature, it is incumbent upon all of us to step up and address it so people can live in safety and the rule of law in maintained.
    How did we get here? Canada, with its traditional social solidarity, had among the lowest COVID deaths in the world, but when omicron hit us, and it hit us like a baseball bat, I think it threw us all. It caused us all a lot of psychological damage, yet in our region, I saw people lining up for boosters and vaccines. I saw volunteers and incredible social solidarity.
    How did it fall apart so quickly? We are at a time when restaurants are reopening, when children are back in school, and when my dear mother and daughter can plan to go off to some warm climate, which is something I have never done as I am not a warm-climate guy, but they could because our country is opening back up again. We are coming through one of the hardest moments of this pandemic because of our social solidarity, yet we have seen a total fracturing.
    As a New Democrat, I am willing to agree to measures to make this city safe, but New Democrats want a full public inquiry. We want an inquiry into the failure of the Ottawa police, the police board and the actions of the mayor to keep people safe, because we should never have been put in this situation. We need an inquiry to understand how it was that the Ambassador Bridge, a vital link to our nation, could be shut because people believe vaccine conspiracy theories. We also need an inquiry to look at the damage that was done to our economy. If we talk anyone in the auto sector, they will tell us that this damage will be long term. There needs to be inquiry.
    Just prior to this situation, I met with six people from the Attawapiskat first nation who came to give a peace message to the government. Security was on them in a second, yet these guys out front were able to set up their bouncy castles and block all the major intersections, and there was no effort to stop them. That is why we need an inquiry. We need answers, and Canadians need answers.
    In January, Canada's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre said that there were “likely” extremists involved and that there was a “trigger point and opportunity for potential lone actor attackers to conduct a terrorism attack” out of this convey, which is not say that the people who were standing on the bridges were part of that. However, Canada's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre recognized a danger of lone actors, so how was it that the people who came in with the trucks were invited right up onto Parliament Hill and allowed to park? Was that a security failure or was that collusion? I can tell members that there are trucks and other vehicles out there that just showed up for a protest and never thought they would ever get down here, yet they were put in a place outside of the Prime Minister's office. That needs to be assessed.
    We know that the U.S. Congress is demanding Facebook to now explain the mass rise of fake overseas accounts that were promoting the convoy and Russian disinformation. We will never hear about that from the Conservatives. How is it that we can fail in our country on basic issues of security? We need to assess these things, and this is why we need an inquiry. People need to know whether this response was an overreach or not. We need to know how it was possible that so much money, foreign money, was being funnelled through a right-wing account that was used in the January 6 attack.
    Any day of the week, I will say as a Canadian that I will stand up and make sure that dark money does not come into our country, and we need a law in place to make sure that accounts in the Cayman Islands are not directing political activities in the nation. That is not being partisan. That is our duty as politicians.

  (0910)  

    I know some Conservatives find that very upsetting, but there is enough blame to go around. I blame the Prime Minister and his failure to stand up to give us a vision when we needed a vision. I blame Doug Ford, who was off snowmobiling and kept missing key security briefings. There is a lot of blame to go around, but I certainly blame the Conservatives, who seem to think there is a political advantage to promoting extremists. They are telling the Prime Minister of our country to meet with the leadership, a leadership that came to this capital with an MOU calling for the overthrow of a democratically elected government. How is it possible that we are at a point where it considered okay to go out and meet with people who want to overthrow the government?
    Who were those people, the people that the interim leader said we need to make this sustained and be a problem? Chris Barber, a vicious racist, likes truckers as long as they are white. He is one of those the interim leader said we were stigmatizing. Pat King singled me out for having the temerity to speak, as is my right, in the House. He is a man who talks about shooting the Prime Minister and shooting cops. Another one who the interim leader thought our Prime Minister should go out and meet is Tamara Lich, a woman dedicated to breaking up our country.
    No, I will not negotiate with people like that. They belong in the crowbar hotel. We need the rule of law. What I have seen over the last three weeks has been shameful. We should never have needed these tools. These tools should have been used by the city of Ottawa to do ticketing. They should have been used in a proper manner, as the city of Quebec did, as the city of Toronto did, but we are in a situation now where this has been allowed to metastasize.
    If the occupiers took over Thunder Bay or Red Deer, that would absolutely be local and provincial jurisdiction, but this is the nation's capital. We cannot be made to look like a failed state to the world, yet we cannot even manage to contain this. I talked earlier about my frustration with the failure of Ottawa police, but I look at the role the police have played over the last few days, and what we saw yesterday was policing at its best in this country.
    I know police officers who have come down from the north. I know friends from the Quebec side, from the Sûreté du Québec, who are here. This is a terrible situation. It is a national embarrassment that we are here, but we have to have an assurance that people can travel in this city. That buddy who has a big truck and has decided he is going to block a major intersection for three solid weeks has more rights than someone who works at Metropolitain, a restaurant that has been shut down, or the young women I know who was harassed and insulted. They say it is all peaceful. It is all peaceful for a white guy with an upside down Canadian flag on their back, but it is not for someone who is a resident of Centretown being harassed in the grocery store for wearing a mask, or being insulted and told to go back where they came from. I have seen this.
     Again, I blame the Ottawa police for not doing their job when they were supposed to, and I blame the mayor. It is our responsibility as legislators to say enough is enough. I want that inquiry. I want to know why the committee has not been struck. I want answers. I want to know that these tools will never be used against legitimate protests. We have to have answers.
    I hold the government to account for that. I hold the provincial government to account. As a legislator, I am ready to do my job to say the rule of law and the right of people to be safe in their own city has to be a sacrosanct responsibility for all of us.

  (0915)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Ontario for his excellent speech.
    I would like to ask him a fairly simple question. Is he, like me, prepared to conduct an inquiry to get to the bottom of this matter, understand what happened and why the situation was misjudged, and find ways to ensure that this never happens again?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, we need an inquiry, and it has to be an independent inquiry because what we have seen in this Parliament is the inability for members to step up and put the nation first, as opposed to local and partisan interests. That independent inquiry has to have the power to compel witness testimony, and we have never had any rules or connections at the civic level, but in Ottawa, yes, I want to hear about the failure of the City of Ottawa and what happened here.
    I want to know about what the Americans are asking about, about foreign overseas accounts that were flooding Facebook in the lead up to this. We need to know where that came from. We need to know how the dark money was used. We also need to be able to assess the claims that the government has made so that we are ensuring that there was not overreach, that the people who are charged were legitimately charged. There has to be oversight. I welcome the Civil Liberties Association saying it is taking this to court. We need oversight.

  (0920)  

    Mr. Speaker, while I disagree with much of what the member has to say, he is absolutely right. It is a national embarrassment, because we have seen newspapers across the world and journalists documenting what has gone on, which is really a failure. It is a local policing issue that has gone out of control.
    What we are here to debate today is very simple. Does the House confirm the declaration made by the government regarding the Emergencies Act? I have concerns that the government has not justified it. In fact, this is supposed to be the nuclear option when a province is unable to carry out its duties. Policing is a provincial responsibility.
    Will the member be voting for the government or will he be voting against it?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague, but I think he mixed up his lead-up to the question and where he was going.
    The issue of oversight is fundamental. Has the government justified this? A committee is supposed to be struck and I want that committee to be struck. However, we are now in the middle of a major police operation, which I think even the Conservatives recognize. Actually, I withdraw that comment because I know the Conservatives are pretending that this is Tiananmen Square.
    What we have seen is that police are undertaking the rule of law with representation from all over our region—
    We have a point of order from the hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.
    Mr. Speaker, knowing it is important that order is maintained in this place, perhaps you could invite the hon. member not to use inflammatory language and rhetoric that will create disorder, which he is attempting to do with a comparison between what is happening here and Tiananmen Square.
    I thank the member for that intervention. I think we should all try to work together on this and make sure that we do not inflame the situation more than we have to.
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Mr. Speaker, I know I am deeply offending the member of the “boo hoo” generation over there for talking about their own Twitter feed, which is promoting that this is Tiananmen Square. What we are witnessing is a police action undertaken within the full sight of the media. We have the representation of police from across the region—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. Let us go on to the next question.
    Question and comments, the hon. member for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, my take-away from my colleague from Timmins—James Bay's speech is that he supports the Emergencies Act because there is a national crisis.
    Oddly enough, some former NDP MPs disagree. I would like to quote two former MPs, Svend Robinson and Erin Weir, whose statements appeared in an article published on February 18 in the National Post.
     Svend Robinson stated that the NDP caucus in 1970 under Tommy Douglas took a courageous and principled stand against the War Measures Act, and that today's NDP under the member for Burnaby South betrays that legacy and supports Liberals on the Emergencies Act. He says that it is shameful and that a very dangerous precedent is being set.
    Mr. Weir stated that it is disappointing to see the federal NDP today support the Emergencies Act when there really is not a national emergency as is settled in that legislation.
    I would like my colleague to think about this. My question is as follows. The NDP said that it might stop supporting the Emergencies Act, but only on the basis of various emotional criteria that we are still in the dark about.
    I would like my colleague to tell us what those criteria are.
    Mr. Speaker, I have two things to say.
    First, I would like to thank the National Assembly of Quebec, which has offered its support to Ottawa residents by sending in the Sûreté du Québec and providing their expertise. I therefore thank Mr. Legault.

[English]

    The second point for my friend, who has not been here all that long, is that he missed a part. When Brian Mulroney's government brought in the Emergencies Act, the New Democrats said this:
...we are pleased that the Minister has brought forward a proposal to replace the War Measures Act....
[We] do not want to reopen old wounds. Instead, I hope this Bill as amended will complete the healing process.
    Yes, there is a difference between those acts.

  (0925)  

    We did get a little off base during questions and answers. We have to try to keep up with our time to make sure that all members have an opportunity to participate in the debate.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Hamilton Centre.
    Mr. Speaker, I share the sober concerns of my colleagues in the House who understand the grave implications of this critical moment in Canadian history. it is a moment of crisis for Canadian democracy. I believe in democracy. I will defend rights and have spent my entire life doing so. However, I want to ensure that our rights are defended by the rule of law, not by rhetoric or politics, and certainly not by decree of insurrectionist mob rule.
    Having been present at the opening proceedings of this debate, I have listened intently to all parties. When I rose in the House for my member's statement, I noted the need for us to begin the important work of restoring faith in our institutions, and the need for greater transparency and accountability given what is before us in this debate on the declaration of the Emergencies Act and perhaps, more importantly, what is yet to come. What has been made abundantly clear to all Canadians is how fragile our democracy is and the work that will be required to fully restore it, regardless of the occupation's final outcome this week.
    I should state that I still hope there will be continued non-violent de-escalations in the situation. I wish for no further escalations of violence. It may be too late, but those who have taken these streets should pack up and leave so we may return to the public health crisis at hand and continue to work in responding to the public health needs of Canadians suffering through COVID.
    On top of that suffering, I want to acknowledge the disproportionate impact that this occupation has had on local residents and workers, including Parliament Hill staff and federal employees, who have been subjected to complete lawlessness during this 24-7 disruption of their lives. For three weeks, our nation and its capital have been seized by the threat of an ongoing and volatile occupation while the world looks on. I have heard directly from residents in Hamilton Centre a feeling of frustration and disappointment in all levels of government and a sense of deep failure by local police services to adequately maintain public safety and handle these illegal acts of insurrection that threaten our democracy and the rights of all Canadians across the country.
    Over the past three weeks, we have watched assaults, attempted arson, widespread harassment at homes, workplaces and schools, the promotion of hate, and other concerning behaviours, such as convoy members giving themselves false powers to detain people. It concerns me that rather than denounce these actions and find ways to help Canadians who do not feel safe in their homes, some in the House have found it politically useful to encourage and embolden these actions, which run counter to our democracy. On February 14, 2022, the RCMP arrested 11 people, who have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, after finding the following in three trailers: 14 firearms, sets of body armour, a machete and a large quantity of ammunition, including high-capacity magazines.
    I should share my concern that I feel the government, in specifying the emergency, placed an overemphasis on the economic disruptions posed by the blockades, including the adverse effects on businesses and supply chains, without adequately referencing the threat of extremist white supremacy and the reported potential for violence. This is despite reports from the intelligence assessments prepared by Canada's Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre that warned in late January that it was likely extremists were involved and said the scale of the protest could yet pose a trigger point and opportunity for potential lone actors to conduct a terrorist attack. I had to read about the seriousness of national security via The Guardian, while ITAC reported that supporters of the convoy had advocated civil war. They have called for violence against the Prime Minister and said that the protests should be used as Canada's January 6, in reference to the storming of the U.S. Capitol. If the government knew, as reported, that the intelligence agencies had been briefing the Canadian government as far back as late December on the possible threat posed by the convoy, why was this clear and present threat not better articulated in the proclamation?
    It is my assertion that the overemphasis on blockades, the economy and the threat to capital is a failure of the government's proclamation in the public order emergency and continues to undermine the public's ability to fully grasp what is at stake here. It also speaks to how differently communities have experienced the impact of these threats. For those who do not feel an existential threat of white supremacy, the top priority is and remains the economy and the flow of capital. For those of us who do recognize and experience the real threat of violence posed by white supremacist extremists, this is about the threat of the stated intentions of the occupiers to overthrow our elected government and replace it with an ethnonationalist junta.

  (0930)  

    I am from a city where if someone tells me they want to drop a bullet in my head, I am compelled to take them seriously, so I appreciate the solemn reflections earlier today from the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer. However, I want to reiterate that it will be critical over the course of this debate for the government to continue to clearly expand upon what I have outlined and what may go beyond what is publicly made available. For example, I call on the government to come clean with Canadians and clearly state the threats to security that many of us see from section 2 of the CSIS Act, which exempts protests in dissent, but with a special emphasis on subsection (d), which outlines:
activities directed toward undermining by covert unlawful acts, or directed toward or intended ultimately to lead to the destruction or overthrow by violence of, the constitutionally established system of government in Canada
    Unpacking these important distinctions will be crucial for the public's ability to determine the proportionality of using part II of the act and safeguarding against government overreach, which we have seen time and again against sovereign indigenous land defenders, racial and climate justice activists and workers. The very legitimate concern is that the precedent set here could lower the bar for future use against legitimate protests in dissent.
    I will state again that this is no time for talking points, spin or partisan attacks. Canadians deserve honest answers, accurate information and clear reasoning. How is it that we have gotten to this point? This declaration of a public order emergency, and indeed the entire debate, ought to be properly centred on public safety and not merely a defence of critical capital. We have witnessed the juxtaposition of brutal and excessive responses to legitimate protests, as experienced for generations by indigenous peoples of these lands and as ongoing in unceded, unsurrendered Wet'suwet'en territory; the use of Canadian military to surveil the Black Lives Matter protest, as recently as 2022; the vicious response to climate justice activists at Fairy Creek; and the violent crackdown on police services against houseless residents and encampment support activists at Trinity-Bellwoods in Toronto and J.C. Beemer Park right here in my riding of Hamilton Centre. Many of these people, in this very moment, fear that the extended powers of the state's monopoly on violence will only serve to further target their causes.
    From the place of this deep concern, I wish to put on the record a question for the government side. Will it clearly state whether the rights afforded by the charter, the supreme law of this land, will remain whole, or if, in its declaration, it is attempting to surreptitiously rescue any potential abuses of authority through section 1 of the charter? I believe this is an incredibly important point of law and is necessary to understand the scale and scope of powers granted under the provisions of the proclamation, along with its future potential use.
     In my opening remarks, I spoke about the need to restore faith in our public institutions, perhaps none more compromised than the the police, who have time and again been recorded in compromised exchanges with the occupiers, and who have been witnessed, in some instances, actively collaborating. Logistically, they have been aiding and abetting the occupation the entire time.
    Canadians cannot maintain faith in our nation's safety and security institutions when faced with this early and ongoing de facto dereliction of duty by local police officers, whose weaponized incompetence and refusal to uphold the law in our nation's capital helped to ultimately bring us to this place. The reports about retired active duty national intelligence and military members, including Joint Task Force 2 members, about the RCMP and about former members of the Prime Minister's security detail further demonstrate the need for a national commission on policing. The last royal commission on policing was in 1962. It is why on Thursday I asked the Minister of Emergency Preparedness if he would commit to establishing a national commission on policing that would review the role of police in this national crisis, as well as the duties generally assigned to the police and their corresponding budgets, and if he would commit to a secretariat or some other office to report on the radicalization and use of public resources and security forces for undemocratic ends.
    Today is an extraordinary moment in Canadian history, but there comes a time when democracy is truly tested. The question that remains and the one we will inevitably be forced to answer is this: How, as a nation, can we pull through this crisis, hold those responsible accountable and improve upon or abolish the failed systems and principles that forced us into this crisis in the first place?

  (0935)  

    Mr. Speaker, when one wants to undermine the security of a country, of a nation, one targets its critical infrastructure. For a trading nation, the most critical infrastructure is its border points. We saw what happened at the Ambassador Bridge, what happened in Manitoba and what happened in Coutts, Alberta. However, what many people do not realize is there were 12 additional protests that directly impacted port-of-entry operations, and in two cases, the protesters breached the CBSA plaza, resulting in CBSA officers locking down the office to prevent additional protesters from gaining entry.
    Do those actions at the 12 points of entry, like at the Ambassador Bridge, not constitute a threat to the sovereignty and economic security of Canada?
    Mr. Speaker, they most certainly do, but I should reflect that as a sovereign nation, the first concern ought to be the safety and security of our citizens. The threat to overthrow the government by an ethno-nationalist junta has undermined it. It has been underestimated in this country for decades.
    Intelligence experts continue to identify white supremacists and ethno-nationalist supremacy in this country as being the number one threats in domestic terrorism. Now is the time to take this seriously. Now is the time to look at the ways in which this movement has been infiltrated by national security experts at the highest organizing levels.
    The general public deserves answers. We need to identify the true risks contained within this movement, and speak openly and honestly about them.
    Mr. Speaker, all members can agree that words matter and actions matter.
    I would like to get the hon. member's opinion on the justice minister's recent appearance on national television, when he spoke about the economic measures to be put in place. He mentioned that if people were part of a pro-Trump organization, they should be worried about their assets being frozen.
    Because of those words, I had calls from constituents, particularly from seniors. They are vaccinated, but they made a $70 donation to this cause.
    Are their bank accounts going to be frozen? I would like to hear the member's comments on that and the government's actions on this.
    Mr. Speaker, as was identified in my remarks, I put on the record a question to the government side, demanding that it clearly state whether the rights afforded by the charter, as the supreme law of this land, remained whole, as indicated in the preamble of the declaration, or if the government in its declaration was attempting to rescue any potential abuses of authority through section 1 of the charter. That is the intention of what needs to happen with the investigation and commission as we respond to these issues as they unfold.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech. He said it very well: Now is the time to combat the threat, and, make no mistake, far–right extremists are a threat to our democracy.
    I do wonder however if he and his party sincerely believe that the government would have let the situation deteriorate to this point for three weeks if the protesters had been students or union members.
    Does my colleague not believe that there are underlying reasons for letting the situation deteriorate like this for three weeks and then taking such extreme measures?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I would also reflect on the fact that just a few short weeks ago in the House, we recognized and mourned the tragedies that occurred in Quebec City.
    For far too long, this nation has underestimated and understated the threats of white supremacists organizing within this country. It is time for the same politicians who joined these communities in mourning to step up now and denounce the white supremacist elements that clearly provide a violent and volatile element that goes well beyond any student, climate justice or indigenous land defender elements that we have seen.

  (0940)  

Business of the House

    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. There have been discussions among the parties, and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion.
     That, notwithstanding any Standing Order, special order or usual practice of the House, for the purposes of Standing Order 28, the House shall be deemed to have sat on Friday, February 18, 2022.

[Translation]

     I received notice from all recognized parties that they are in agreement with this request.

[English]

    Therefore, all those opposed—
    Mr. Speaker, on a point or order. I am sure it was an oversight, but as this is unanimous consent, every member of the House should have been consulted. I was not, but I wish to give consent.
    I appreciate the intervention from the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    All those opposed to the hon. member moving the motion will please say nay.
    It is agreed.
     The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.

     (Motion agreed to)

Emergencies Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise and speak on behalf of the constituents who elected me to come to the House.
    It is important to lay out that within the Emergencies Act there is a threshold that has been established to justify its use, which is when a situation “seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada”, and when the situation cannot effectively be dealt with under any other order of law. I do not believe the government has shown that this threshold has been met.
    As many of my colleagues from all sides of the House have pointed out, this legislation has never been used in its current format. Its predecessor, the War Measures Act, was only used three times. The first was in World War I, the second was in World War II and the third was during the FLQ crisis.
    It is important to note that—
    The hon. member for Timmins—James Bay is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, we are not discussing the War Measures Act. That no longer exists. This is an act brought in 1987 by Brian Mulroney. It is irrelevant.
    We are debating the motion before us. We have given lots of members lots of leeway on what their speeches have or have not included.
    The hon. member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake has the floor.
    Mr. Speaker, I think it is pretty evident. Clearly the member opposite and members from the NDP are a little bit uneasy when we talk about the fact that this act's predecessor was the War Measures Act, because it was the NDP under Tommy Douglas who took a courageous stand against the use of the War Measures Act in the FLQ crisis. It is a piece there. The reason I bring this up is that the weight of those events should be a caution to all parliamentarians against making a decision to invoke an act like this lightly.
    We have had numerous provincial politicians state that they do not support the use of the Emergencies Act. These include provinces such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and my home province of Alberta. Numerous times over the past few days, the Prime Minister has said that using the Emergencies Act was not the first, second or third option. However, members on this side have asked many times what the first three options were, and we have yet to be given any concrete answers. In the absence of an answer, I am left to assume that step one was wait, step two was do nothing and step three was shift blame.
    This is not the leadership Canadians expect or deserve. What we saw was a refusal by the Prime Minister to provide additional support to the Ottawa Police Service when they asked for it. In fact, on February 11, the Prime Minister stated that they had enough resources. A short three days later, on February 14, the Emergencies Act was invoked. What happened in those three days that dramatically changed everything? We have not been told that as parliamentarians.
    In the past few days, my office has received hundreds of phone calls, and thousands of emails, on the use of the Emergencies Act. Many constituents shared with me their fears, their anxieties, their collective trauma and the sense of PTSD they had. They shared how they saw government overreach as a very scary precedent.
    One constituent, Lindsay, wrote to me and said, “I continue to try and wrap my head around the fact of how we are here and why we are here. How have things gotten so out of control? I feel very fearful, anxious and upset with how our Prime Minister has been treating the people of this country. Both his actions and language are not in alignment with true Canadian values: peace, freedom or protection. He is continuously inflaming the situation and I cannot believe that I am living in fear in Canada”.
    Many of the emails and calls that I had were from parents who were tearful because they felt afraid for their children. They felt like they had been ignored and left behind by the Liberal government. Another constituent, Tyler, wrote, “I wholeheartedly disagree with the Prime Minister's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. I firmly believe that his decision is unjustified and an abuse of power. It only serves to instill more fear and further divide the citizens of this wonderful country.”
    Upon reflection, from all the correspondence and phone calls I have received, it left me wondering if perhaps the Prime Minister may have forgotten or missed the point as to why so many Canadians were protesting right now. I will help, and lay it out simply for him. Many are frustrated with what they see as government overreach. If the Prime Minister thinks that a solution to that overreach is adding more overreach, he is woefully short-sighted.
    It is worth noting that the border protests in Windsor, Emerson, Coutts and Surrey have all ended peacefully. They ended through negotiation with local law enforcement and precise local police action. They all ended before the Emergencies Act was invoked.
    I think this is an important point to highlight. It is incredibly important. I think those on the Liberal benches should take some time to reflect on this point. The laws of our country, and the widespread respect of the rule of law, were ultimately enough to get the protesters blocking the border to move. Police did their job by enforcing the laws currently on the books, and the protesters went home.

  (0945)  

    I am a passionate believer in the rule of law. Everyday Canadians' respect for the laws that serve the cause of peace, order and good government is something that makes me incredibly proud of my country. Yes, there are some among the protesters who probably do not share that same feeling, but I think it would be worthwhile for the Prime Minister to reflect on how his dubious leadership has contributed to some of these events.
    Trust in the rule of law breaks down when people stop believing the law is equal and equally applied to everyone. This includes politicians ignoring their own guidelines with regard to COVID restrictions, a Prime Minister who treats ethics violations as a minor inconvenience, conflict-of-interest violations, election-law infractions and a woman fired from cabinet because she refused to break the law. We are considering enacting a law that has previously been reserved for world wars and deadly terrorism, because the protesters will not respect the law—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mrs. Laila Goodridge: —and here they are on the other side, heckling me—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mrs. Laila Goodridge: Mr. Speaker, this is so inappropriate.
    Let us all take a breath. We have been doing so well. We are getting to questions and answers, so I really appreciate it.
    Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I certainly want to apologize for being inappropriate, but the member keeps talking about legislation that does not exist. I do not want her to look bad.
    We are getting into debate. I am listening to the member as well. I know she is trying to put a full thought together, and sometimes I have to give members leeway in order to do that.
    The hon. member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake.
    Mr. Speaker, I am sorry. Sometimes, when we are passionate about something, we misspeak, even when we are reading something. I apologize for saying “uninformed” instead of “informed”.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mrs. Laila Goodridge: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry. The fact that members fail to give respect to members as they are giving their speeches is something that is a problem in the House. I believe right now what we need is honest, open communication and servant leadership. We need de-escalation and compromise. We need to make sure we are trying to get to a resolution peacefully.
    My mother was a very wise woman, and she used to always say that when we treat people like people, they will act like people. I think we could all benefit from this advice right now. What we need as a nation is to have people come together. After two long years apart, we need to spend time finding similarities, rather than differences. We need to remember that, at the end of the day, we are all people.
    I would urge all members in the House and all Canadians listening to remember that we are people. We need to treat each other with dignity and respect. We need to spend more time listening and find a way to peaceful resolution. I would urge all members to join in voting against the declaration of emergency.

  (0950)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the member opposite's speech, and what I find concerning, and what I have heard from the Conservative bench for the last couple of weeks, is this. They are equating the idea that, although there are some individuals who have been involved in this occupation who are being peaceful, it is somehow lawful. We can have people who are peaceful, but I would argue that the House has really highlighted points where there are individuals who have much more sinister goals, so we do not have to go down that route. It is still unlawful, what was taking place. The interim chief of the Ottawa police remarked yesterday that the measures the government introduced were extremely helpful for being able to remove the occupation that exists in Ottawa. Of course, we know that some individuals are touting the idea that they will re-establish blockades elsewhere in the country.
    Does that testimony from the chief of police in Ottawa not give this member some idea that these measures were helpful in removing a blockade in a G7 country's capital city?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not believe the member was accurately portraying what I heard from that news conference. I think it is very important to highlight the fact that the blockades at our borders were resolved before the invocation of the Emergencies Act, therefore showing that there are laws currently in place in this nation in our provinces and communities that could have resolved these problems.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Fort McMurray—Cold Lake for her speech.
    I would like to hear her speak about the War Measures Act and the Emergencies Act. We have heard several times that they are not the same, and I could not agree more. In my view, both existed and both still exist. There are still links between them. In the House of Commons, it does not do to pretend that certain things do not exist.
    I will give an example that I really like: the 1982 Constitution. Quebec suffered the consequences of not signing the Constitution Act of 1982. We did not sign it, but it still exists.
    I wonder if the member would speak to the relevance of the Emergencies Act and point out some links to the War Measures Act that was implemented during the First World War, the Second World War and the October crisis of 1970.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague made some important points. It is important to talk about history so we do not make the same mistakes over and over. It is important to know why the Emergencies Act was created. I think it is important to understand the reasons why it was used previously. I talked about that in my speech, and I will continue to reiterate the facts.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her intervention, but I admit to having a great sense of despair in my own heart right now.
    I think of when the first children were found buried in Kamloops, outside of that institution. When I was four, I was adopted into an indigenous family. I remember, when we found those children, my sister calling me and saying that she had to tell Daizy, my niece, about residential school and about Granny, and that she had wanted to wait a bit longer.
    When we look at the reality that white privilege, white extremism and white supremacy are still so strong in this country and that many of the prominent organizers of this organization and occupation are from that community, we see how carefully we must walk. My granny, who went to residential school until she was 16, used to say, “You'd better stand straight where you are and know who you're standing next to”.
    Can the member talk about how her party has stood next to these folks who have diminished the realities of people in this country?

  (0955)  

    Mr. Speaker, I was born and raised in northeastern Alberta and I've lived there just about my entire life. There are, unfortunately, in my community and in the region that I represent, a number of residential schools. The trauma piece is very real.
    I want to thank the member for sharing her story. It is a space in our history that we acknowledge. In truth we will find reconciliation.
    Mr. Speaker, I am rising here today, not to talk about the technicalities of the Emergencies Act but to discuss how we got here. How did we possibly get to the point where, after 34 years of governments not invoking the Emergencies Act, the current Liberal government feels it necessary to enact it now. Unfortunately, our country has experienced many dire situations in the past, yet those situations all came to a resolution without the unprecedented and dangerous step of invoking the Emergencies Act.
     The 1990 Oka Crisis is one such example. During this crisis, protesters and the Quebec police engaged in a 78-day standoff. We witnessed gunfire exchanges. We mourned the tragic death of Mohawk elder Joe Armstrong and the tragic death of Quebec provincial police officer Corporal Marcel Lemay. Surely, violent deaths and gunfire could have warranted invoking the Emergencies Act, yet Prime Minister Mulroney did not invoke the Emergencies Act. Instead, cooler heads prevailed and the protest was negotiated.
    On September 11, 2001, our closest ally, the United States, suffered a series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks, resulting in extensive death and destruction. Over 2,900 people were killed, including at least two dozen Canadian citizens. Surely the Emergencies Act could have been invoked under the war or international sections of the act, yet Prime Minister Chrétien did not invoke the act. Instead, we supported our American neighbours in any way we could and stood by our friends when they needed us most.
    In the summer of 2013, Alberta experienced catastrophic floods that tragically claimed the lives of five Canadians and resulted in billions of dollars of damage. That summer, local states of emergency were declared. Did Prime Minister Harper invoke a public welfare emergency then? No, instead Canadians banded together to help southern Albertans.
    On October 22, 2014, a gunman, whom I will not name, shot and tragically killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the Canadian National War Memorial. The gunman also injured three others and then stormed Parliament, the very heart of our democracy, yet again Prime Minister Harper did not invoke the Emergencies Act.
    On May 1, 2016, our country witnessed the costliest disaster in Canadian history when Fort McMurray, Alberta, was devastated by wildfire. Over 80,000 people were forced from their homes and the economic damage of the wildfire was estimated to be upward of $9 billion. Premier Notley declared a provincial state of urgency, yet, still, the Prime Minister did not invoke the Emergencies Act.
    From January to March 2020, critical infrastructure such as pipelines and railways was blocked across Canada by protesters and environmental activists in response to the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. This caused the construction of the pipeline to be halted, passenger rail to be suspended and commercial rail to be stopped. What did this Prime Minister do? Did he invoke the Emergencies Act then? No he did not. Instead, the government negotiated with indigenous leaders and blockades came to an end.
    Most recently, in November 2021, British Columbia experienced massive flooding. This natural disaster tragically claimed the lives of five people and resulted in short- and long-term disruption of Canada's largest port, Fraser Valley. The flooding severed critical infrastructure that connects British Columbia with the rest of Canada. Again, surely this disaster could have warranted the Emergencies Act as well.
    Finally, let us not forget that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the Prime Minister could have invoked a public welfare emergency, yet he did not because the provinces did not see it as necessary.
    Why is this Prime Minister choosing to take the unprecedented step of invoking the Emergencies Act now? What makes this situation so much worse, so dire that the Prime Minister is compelled to invoke the Emergencies Act? Let me be clear. The situation we are currently facing does not warrant the Liberal government's invoking of the Emergencies Act. We are witnessing a clear-cut case of government overreach. This act is supposed to be used for emergency situations that cannot be addressed through existing laws.
    Our country has gone 34 years without invoking this act. We have addressed real emergencies, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, domestic terrorism and even illegal blockades, yet no other sitting prime minister, including Mr. Trudeau himself, has utilized the powers of the Emergencies Act to address any of these situations.

  (1000)  

    Madam Speaker, I am rising on a point of order.
    I am sure it was an oversight by the person who wrote the speech for the hon. member, but it is the common practice of this House to refer to members by their constituency or by the title they hold and not by their proper names.
    I thank the member. I did not catch that while the hon. member was speaking, but I do want to remind all members that they are to refer to MPs or ministers in this House either by their title or by the name of their ridings.
    The hon. member can continue.
    Madam Speaker, this is a classic case of egregious government overreach. Every day, my constituency office receives hundreds of calls and emails from constituents who are concerned. They are concerned about the future of our country. They are concerned that the government is overstepping by giving itself the power to freeze the bank accounts and assets of Canadians without a judge's involvement or due process.
    Let me remind my colleagues that this is the Prime Minister who claimed in 2015 that he was going to reform Parliament by empowering backbenches, diminish partisanship, restore civility and make the government accountable. Remember his phrase, “Sunny ways my friends, sunny ways.”
    What have Canadians gotten instead? A government run by the PMO, a government that runs roughshod over Parliament and its procedures and the accountability required. Nothing but cloudy ways, my friends, cloudy ways.
    The Prime Minister's government has increased partisanship and diminished civility. He has attacked the very Canadians he was elected to serve, blaming them as “extremists” who were also very often misogynist and racist. Now the Prime Minister is insisting on bringing in this legislation that dramatically expands the ability of the state to interfere in Canadians' private lives.
    Invoking the Emergencies Act creates a dangerous precedent that cannot be undone. Furthermore, there is no consensus among premiers to support this drastic measure. The premiers of Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, P.E.I. and Quebec have all said they do not support the act being invoked.
    Canada's foundational principles are those of peace, order and good government. While the Liberals do not seem to understand good government, they have finally understood that order is necessary. Sadly, they have overreacted in doing so.
    As opposed to taking a reasoned, measured approach, the government has overreached and implemented punitive measures. They have frozen individuals' bank accounts without a judge's involvement or due process. They impose vaccine mandates on truckers with no scientific evidence warranting such action.
    As a Canadian and a Conservative, I will always support the right to peaceful, law-abiding protest. I believe this is a fundamental cornerstone of our democracy. I also believe in the rule of law and that the fundamental freedom of peaceful assembly does not include the right to blockade streets, highways, international border crossings and rail lines or disrupt supply chains. My position on illegal blockades has always been clear: Any blockades and barricades need to end. They only hurt Canadian families, businesses and jobs.
    However, we can resolve this situation without the invoking the successor to the War Measures Act. I understand the frustration that the people who are protesting are experiencing. This pandemic has been hard on all Canadians. Many people have lost their livelihoods, their loved ones, and so much more throughout this pandemic.
    However, truck drivers and their families are not terrorists. At the beginning of this pandemic, when many Canadians were isolating in their homes, I recall that truckers were out there ensuring we had the necessities of life we needed to survive.
    As the Prime Minister said in April 2020, “While many of us are working from home, there are others who aren't able to do that, like the truck drivers who are working day and night to make sure our shelves are stocked. So when you can, please thank a trucker for everything they're doing and help them however you can.”
    Truckers are Canadian citizens who are worried about their futures and about the futures their children and grandchildren will inherit. Conservatives have heard the concerns of these protesters.
    We asked the Prime Minister and his government to commit publicly to a specific plan and timeline to end federal mandates and restrictions, the least that Canadians deserve. Instead, the Liberals and the NDP refused to support our motion. Asking for a plan is reasonable, and their refusal to provide one is shameful.
    I ask that all parliamentarians, as representatives of the Canadian people, listen to our fellow citizens. We must be willing to talk regardless of how difficult the situation is. We must not degrade, dismiss or name-call. We must work to rebuild trust in our public institutions. We must help those who have been left behind by the pandemic, and we must end these mandates.
    I will conclude by asking all members of the House to try to restore the confidence that has been lost between the people and ourselves. I also ask all members to seriously consider whether we are truly experiencing terrorist threats or if the Liberal government is overreaching and setting a dangerous precedent for our country.

  (1005)  

    Madam Speaker, I have to say to my hon. colleague that much of his speech could have been written by any of us on this side. We all know that law and order are the fundamental backbone of our country. That is what we all want.
    However, the hon. member cannot say to me or to the rest of our colleagues that what is happening outside could simply be handled by some police officers shoving the protesters away. This is an illegal blockade that has been there for going on four weeks now. The people of Ottawa have been terrorized. They have been denied their freedom.
    For someone who equally respects law and order, how can he stand by and just let another weekend go by and not recognize that this was a measure we absolutely had to take?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for that question. I have always been for law and order. I grew up in a household where my father was a police officer. I do not know how we got to where we are today. Some people this morning asked for an inquiry. I think that is necessary to find out how we got here.
    I believe these trucks were parked on the road and once they got there, they were very tough to move. I believe they should have been moved weeks ago. They should not have affected people in Ottawa so much. I agree, but we did get to this stage. What we really need to get down to is finding out the root cause. Where are this anger and divisiveness coming from in our country?
     I was very pleased to hear the beginning of the member's question where she said part of my speech could have been written by the other side, because, quite frankly, when I first wrote this speech with the help of my staff, there were some things in there that we took out because I did not want to make this extremely partisan or extremely angry. We have enough of that right now. I appreciate the member's acknowledgement of that. I tried not to do that. We need to extend an olive branch to each side, including the people outside.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his remarks and the ideas he shared with Parliament.
    At this point in the debate, I am thinking about potential crisis exit strategies that might work. Sending the army and the police, including mounted police, into crowds of protesters is not going to calm people down. Eventually, we have to figure out how to end this crisis. Parliament will have to make compromises and reach out.
    What crisis exit strategies would satisfy my colleague? Should the Prime Minister be pondering crisis exit strategies too, such as resigning?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I wish I could answer in the member's first language, but I am unable to; maybe some day.
    I think we have become incredibly divided in this country. I like the way he worded the olive branch that I mentioned. We have to come together. The last two years have been very hard on everybody. This has frayed everybody's ability to get along and to be patient. We are all afraid. All of us, as parliamentarians, are getting inundated with phone calls and emails. I know members across the aisle are as well. We need to get through this somehow. We need to get back to being able to have reasonable discussions with each other. We do not always have to agree, but we need to be able to listen to each other, part ways and still get along.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his speech and appreciate his tone. These are important days and these are important discussions. The tone that he brings is appropriate.
    He mentioned the service of his father as a police officer and we thank his family for their service. What the police have said is that the regulations that have been issued have been instrumental in avoiding serious injury so far, particularly with the designation of places, which has meant that the convoy leaders were not able to achieve what they called for, thousands of reinforcements coming to Ottawa this weekend, because of the emergency regulation that allowed police officers to stop that.
    Is it not important to ensure that there are no serious injuries?

  (1010)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his kind words and for acknowledging my father's service.
    Obviously, everybody's safety is the most important thing. We have talked a couple of times now about an inquiry and I really think it could be important to get down to the root cause. Over the past week or two, I have had a chance to speak to two very high-ranking retired OPP commissioners. Both have told me that the Emergencies Act was not needed and this could have been done without it. There have been some things happening from the beginning. There have been other things said to me that I do not want to use today because they could be inflammatory, but let us just say I have done my own research. I have talked to people and been informed that this really was not necessary to move these people along.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to mention right away that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Lac‑Saint‑Jean.
    As we speak to the confirmation of the February 14 proclamation of a state of emergency, on the other side of these walls, the police are lifting the siege in Ottawa. We all want it to be done as peaceful as possible. As colleagues have done before me, and as others will undoubtedly do, I encourage the participants in this siege to leave without further delay.
    I want to acknowledge the excellent work of the men and women who have been working since yesterday to bring order to the streets of the capital. This effective work demonstrates what we have been saying since the beginning of the siege: We do not need the Emergencies Act. We need concerted action by all police forces. We need a crisis task force and a coordination centre. As we have been saying for the past three weeks, we need a plan.
    What has been lacking since the siege began is not the use of the Emergencies Act. What has been lacking is leadership from the top, starting with the federal government.
    We are calling on the government to not use this legislation, as all governments have refrained from doing since 1988, or for 52 years, if we include the use of the War Measures Act, the predecessor to this act. More than half a century has passed since this legislation was used. There must be good reason for that.
    Let us have a look at the legislation, which states:
    WHEREAS 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;
    AND WHEREAS the fulfilment of those obligations in Canada may be seriously threatened by a national emergency and, in order to ensure safety and security during such an emergency, the Governor in Council should be authorized, subject to the supervision of Parliament, to take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times;
    That is part of the preamble at the beginning of the Emergencies Act, which serves as a warning of sorts, saying “handle with care” or “caution: dangerous material”.
    The act states: “to take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times”. I really want to repeat that part again, because it carries a heavy burden in a democracy: “special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times”.
    The authors of this legislation and the parliamentarians who passed it warned us that we are entering at our own risk.
    Such warnings should be taken seriously. At the same time, the Emergencies Act exists and must therefore serve some purpose. Parliament does not pass laws that it does not intend to use.
    There is no doubt that this act serves a purpose, but it is meant to be used in extraordinary situations: in case of a public welfare emergency, a public order emergency, an international emergency or a war emergency. It is a law to be used in the case of a disaster.
    Over the past few weeks, there has been a siege here. It is true. We are talking about angry Canadians who are unhappy with the public health measures, people who are irrefutably and without a doubt participating in an illegal activity. They deserve to be fined, to have their vehicles seized and possibly even be put in prison in some cases. Is that a disaster? Is it a national crisis? Is it an extraordinary situation?
    Over the past few weeks, we have been witnessing a siege. The participants are misguided, ill-informed, fractious and fully aware that they are participating in an illegal activity. In many cases, these people have their children with them.
    The police are dealing with this, but I would like to say that I find it extremely irresponsible to bring children into such a situation. I would ask those who brought their children here to leave, because they are putting their children in danger.
    From day one we have been asking these people to leave. On Monday we asked the government to tell us its plan. On day six we asked that a crisis task force be created and that it include every police force. The government did nothing.
    The people outside do not have the right to be there. At the end of day one, it was no longer a demonstration, but an occupation. At the end of the first week, it was no longer an occupation, but a siege.
    What should have been an incident in our lives has become an episode in Canadian history. This government is writing these people into our history.
    We have before us a siege that required police intervention and not the invocation of legislation that is used in war time, in times of international crisis or during an earthquake.
    This law was not needed during the ice storm. It was not needed during the Oka crisis, or the fires in British Columbia. It has never been needed in the past 25 years.
    When the entire world was dealing with a pandemic in 2020, the government was not compelled to use the Emergencies Act.

  (1015)  

    We are supposed to believe that this out-of-control protest justifies its application today. That creates a dangerous precedent, much like lighting up that first cigarette after not smoking for years. The trick is not to have that cigarette.
    Some of us have more conservative values, others more liberal ones. For some, the priority is clean energy, for others it is the fight against climate change. We can have a debate, insult one another in the House and get carried away. Some of us want Quebec to be a country, others want the federal government to be more centralist. We know that we will never agree on several issues.
    However, I sincerely believe that all members of the House are democrats and care deeply about democracy. The Emergencies Act provides for “special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times”. We do not need them, not for those people. Even though the government has chosen this path, we need not follow. The House must not support this proclamation. We must be bigger than that.
    The Emergency Measures Regulations of Tuesday's order in council state, “A person must not travel to or within an area where an assembly referred to in subsection 2(1) is taking place.” Participating in a public assembly that could severely disturb the peace is prohibited. I understand that.
    Nevertheless, people who are not in the area are prohibited from travelling to get there. That is what I am trying to understand. It is prohibited to have the intention to do something that is prohibited. Somebody who is about to do something, without however having done it, is guilty of an offence and could be fined. The government should have a good reason to make freedom of association a relative concept and jeopardize freedom of movement. I do not see it.
    What I see are people who are committing mischief and other illegal actions, as well as trucks that are dangerously blocking public roads. I see crowds that should have been dispersed a long time ago and trucks that should have been towed a long time ago. From the outset, we have been calling on the police to intervene peacefully, but firmly. Invoking the Emergencies Act is frankly not necessary for that purpose. If it is invoked to deal with these people, if we open Pandora's box, if we smoke that first cigarette, where will that lead us?
    As I have said, I understand the purpose of the Emergencies Act, but if we confirm the declaration, it will say much more about us than about those in the streets. Yes, there have been biker gangs, white supremacists, racists and homophobes in this rather strange crowd. Yes, there are some people in the crowd who believe in the great reset, who think that the vaccine contains sterilizing agents and who believe in other conspiracy theories. There are also people who have disengaged from our institutions, who no longer believe in the government or in the media.
    I want to acknowledge the brave women and men who are putting themselves in the middle of this to keep us informed. I am thinking of Raymond Filion, who was assaulted while he was out reporting. Being informed is freedom.
    Frankly, there is more freedom for the media than for the opponents. This siege is not sympathetic, nor are the occupiers. Police intervention is necessary, and that is what is happening. However, the government has not convinced us of the need to use the Emergencies Act and should refrain from doing so.

  (1020)  

    Madam Speaker, I will present three facts, followed by one question.
    First, the charter rights are not affected by our measures. Second, this act is very different from the War Measures Act. We are not calling in the army. This is very different from the October crisis. Third, according to a recent poll, 72% of Quebeckers support our measures.
    On Monday, my opposition colleague asked the federal government to show leadership. From day one, we have been working with municipal and provincial police forces, and we are implementing concrete, targeted measures under the federal act.
    My question is simple. Why did the member change her mind about the necessary measures to combat illegal activities, especially in a context where the majority of Quebeckers support these measures?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    The Bloc Québécois has not changed its position. From day one of the siege, we have been calling on the government to do something, to take responsibility, to create a crisis task force and to work with law enforcement, the Mayor of Ottawa and the Premier of Ontario in a concerted and coordinated way. We asked for everyone to work together and for this government to show some leadership, because the siege was serving as inspiration for other protests in other parts of the country.
    The other protests were well managed by the police without any need for the Emergencies Act. Right now, there is a siege in downtown Ottawa. However, this crisis is limited to one area. It is not a nationwide crisis and it does not justify the use of the Emergencies Act. If the government had shown some leadership, this crisis would have been over a long time ago.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her thoughtful speech and her concern, because the government has enacted powers that Canadians are certainly upset about. I am talking about the financial powers that the Deputy Prime Minister said will likely become permanent.
    Could the member please comment on freezing people's bank accounts based on suspicion? I have been hearing from elderly constituents who are extremely worried about paying their bills. Could the member comment on that?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    As I said in my speech, using the Emergencies Act now sets a dangerous precedent, given that it has not been used since being passed in 1988 and that so many governments have refrained from doing so.
    The act gives the government and law enforcement the power to use extraordinary measures. We have heard the Prime Minister say that, even if the police do not need those measures, they can use them, and that is exactly the problem. They can use them.
    What is more, opponents continue to get money through crowdfunding platforms. Has this had the intended effect? I am not so sure, but it is setting a dangerous precedent.

[English]

    Uqaqtittiji, is this a national issue? Yes. We have heard the Conservatives and Bloc attempt to downplay what has led to today.
    The people outside are not just truckers, and they are not just parking. This is extremism. This is a national emergency. We have seen violent extremist ideologies from the United States infiltrate Canadians. This morning, we heard Conservatives mention that Donald Trump is talking about fundraising in Canada.
    I have three questions: Does the member agree that dealing with extremist ideologies from other countries amplifies that this is a national issue? Does she agree that this is indeed a national emergency, and does she agree that we need to prevent more Canadians from being infiltrated by foreign countries and other extremist ideologies?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, sometimes I do not know whether the question is coming from the NDP or the Liberal Party, because they sound the same.
    Yes, it is a crisis, but it would not have gotten as serious as it did if the federal government had taken its responsibilities from day one. This is not a national crisis. All of Canada is not being targeted and under siege; it is a security perimeter in front of Parliament. The situation could have been dealt with by the police without the Emergencies Act.

  (1025)  

    Madam Speaker, first of all, I have no sympathy for what has been happening on Ottawa streets for the past three weeks. Fortunately, after 22 days of siege, the crisis may be over. As we speak, the police are dispersing and arresting the occupiers.
    On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to thank all the police forces for their courage, patience and professionalism. We have our fingers crossed, but we may well have avoided the worst. Let us be honest: We feared the worst, and the worst is still possible.
    Since the beginning of the siege, the Bloc Québécois has recognized the right to protest, but not the right to occupy, to intimidate, to engage in hate speech, and so on. As I said, I have no sympathy for what has been happening for three weeks on the streets of Ottawa. However, my lack of sympathy should not colour my judgment when it comes to the use of the Emergencies Act. That is the national crisis. What is happening outside is extremely serious, but the police are dealing with it thanks to their well-coordinated efforts, not the federal government.
    The national crisis is that, for the first time in history, the Prime Minister is invoking the Emergencies Act, an act that has never been used since being enacted in 1988, 34 years ago. This legislation limits fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of association and freedom of movement. It allows the federal government to intervene in Quebec territory, as well as in Quebec infrastructure, such as hospitals, dams and vaccination centres. It goes against the will of the Quebec National Assembly, which is unanimously opposed to its application in Quebec. It allows the government “to take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times”. The Prime Minister has claimed the right to take inappropriate measures. As parliamentarians, we must determine whether he has truly been able to justify taking these measures.
    The Prime Minister is making a historic mistake by invoking the Emergencies Act for the first time ever. I repeat: This is the first time in history it has been invoked. That is why the Prime Minister's decision has two effects that will mark the future: trivializing and setting a benchmark. I say trivializing because he is using this act, even though he has not demonstrated that it meets the necessary emergency criteria at all. It is written in black and white that the Emergencies Act must only be invoked if the government is facing a national crisis that threatens its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. That is serious. It almost describes a state of war. As we know, this legislation is an updated version of the old War Measures Act.
    However, the crisis in Ottawa is not national. It is confined to downtown Ottawa and the neighbouring cities, such as Gatineau. Yes, there are other demonstrations in Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario, and there was even a flash in the pan in Quebec City, but everything was resolved by law enforcement with the tools they already had. The simple truth is that every time governments and police forces have worked properly, in co‑operation, they have prevailed. We are crossing our fingers, but the same scenario seems to be playing out in Ottawa. Each jurisdiction already seems to have all the tools to intervene.
    Dialogue is impossible when, upon seeing a convoy of protesters arriving in the federal capital and setting up in front of the federal Parliament to oppose a federal policy and call out the Prime Minister, the federal government spends three weeks saying it is the city's problem.
    Moreover, Canada's territorial integrity is not under threat. What is happening is extremely reprehensible, but it is not an invasion.
    Furthermore, there is no threat to Canadian sovereignty. Once again, we have our fingers crossed, but the police seem to have the situation under control.
    What has been missing for the past three weeks is that the federal government should have been at the helm, carefully managing the crisis. Now it is embarrassing to see the government claiming that it had no choice but to resort to emergency measures. Over the past three weeks, we have watched the occupiers of the capital of a G7 country set up a hot tub, saunas, bouncy castles and street hockey games. Everyone who is present here has seen it first-hand.
    Who in the House can seriously claim that every possible effort had been made to resolve this crisis? Does anyone really believe that?
    That is why the Prime Minister is normalizing the use of the Emergencies Act. He is setting the precedent that the criteria to be met to use this legislation are discretionary.

  (1030)  

    He is setting the precedent that it is acceptable to use this legislation without the consensus of the House and maybe even without a majority. He is setting the precedent that it is acceptable to use it against the will of Quebec and most of the provinces. He is setting the precedent that the federal government can essentially use this legislation to say that it did something after three weeks of inaction.
    The Prime Minister is using the Emergencies Act in an arbitrary and divisive way for purely political reasons. This normalizing will be used as a benchmark for every successive prime minister. The Prime Minister is charting a course for every future government. In the future, every political player who faces a crisis will look at how the Prime Minister of Canada invoked the Emergencies Act in 2022. They will all look at his decision and see that the bar for invoking the emergency measures is not as high as the legislation suggests.
    Political posturing and pressure in times of crisis threaten to again lower the bar a little bit more, always just a little bit more. This will serve as a precedent for all future governments for assessing things like the funding of environmental movements; grassroots campaigns against climate change; student protests; tense labour disputes; protests on civil rights, self-determination or racism; or highly charged debates, such as a nation aspiring to independence. It will serve as the benchmark.
    That is why we must be prudent. That is why we must conduct ourselves as statesmen and stateswomen and rise above the fray. We must consider the consequences of our decisions on more than just the situation right under our noses. We must foresee the long-term consequences and think several steps ahead. We must separate our opinions from the legislative decision, the immediate political situation from the legislative decision. As politicians, that is the only way to respect the contract between citizens and the state.
    We cannot control the future. I do not know who will be governing the country in 10 years. I am optimistic enough to hope that all future prime ministers will be careful, compassionate, discerning and aware of the impact of every decision they make. However, I have no guarantee of this. I am profoundly disturbed that the political significance of a last-resort emergency measure, a nuclear option, is being downplayed today and for all time.
    As I have said before, I have no sympathy for what has been going on in Ottawa in the last three weeks, but that does not matter. I am opposed to the use of the Emergencies Act, despite what I have seen with my own eyes every day while coming to work. In the House, I am the member for Lac-Saint-Jean.
    Every morning, I remind myself who I work for. I work for the people of Lac-Saint-Jean. I will not support a reckless decision that could one day impact the rights of my constituents in Lac-Saint-Jean and all Quebeckers. I cannot trivialize invoking the Emergencies Act. I cannot carelessly chart this path for all future governments to walk on.
    Frankly, I cannot be absolutely certain that the Prime Minister did not let his disdain for the occupiers influence his decision. I also cannot be certain that he was not influenced by the immediate political situation to make a decision that feels good today but will feel terrible tomorrow. I am not absolutely certain that he fully comprehends the impact of the legacy he will leave. I am also not absolutely certain that the NDP did not rush to support the decision in part because it too lacks sympathy for what has gone on in the streets of Ottawa. I am not certain that the NDP was not distracted by the immediate political situation, leading it to forget how important it is to protect rights and freedoms in the long term. The NDP seems to be thinking about what legacy it will leave today. That is good news.
    We must remember the occupation of Ottawa as the crisis that led to proactive co-operation among governments and police forces. It must not be remembered as a crisis that normalized and set a precedent for the use of the Emergencies Act.
    Let us make the right decision for the future of a healthy democracy, for the future of the social contract and for the future of the people we have the honour of representing.

  (1035)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his speech. I appreciate his candour in voicing his concerns. I also appreciate the fact that he is open to the opinions of others.
    I too am not 100% certain that this is the absolute best course of action, but there is one thing I sincerely recognize. I hope my hon. colleague can tell me about it. I do not want to trivialize the decisions we are making, but would my hon. colleague agree that we are somewhat trivializing the situation in terms of the extremist voices we are hearing in our politics, both in Canada and around the world?
    Is it not time to set some limits before things get out of hand?
    Madam Speaker, I would never trivialize hate speech. I want to make sure that my hon. colleague knows that.
    My colleague stated that he too was not 100% certain that we were making the right decision. That is what he just said.
    However, when it is time to make a decision as important as invoking the Emergencies Act, it is vital to be 100% sure that it is the right decision.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, all across the country, in the buildup to the convoy arriving in Ottawa, we saw multiple stops along the way. If the government had been listening to people and had been willing to look beyond and listen to what the rest of the country was saying and look at what people were seeing, there was enough forewarning that this was coming, but the government chose not to act and not to listen.
    Does the member agree that the government should have been willing to look at other parts of the country? Just because it does not have representation there does not mean that it should not be listening to the concerns of other regions of the country.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, when one is Prime Minister, one must listen to everyone who expresses an opinion anywhere in the country. I imagine that is part of the job. The main thing was that the Prime Minister needed to take action on day one of the protests.
    I understand my hon. colleague's question, and I thank him for it, but if certain members of the Conservative caucus had not exacerbated the crisis, we might not be where we are today. The fact is, some Conservatives had photos taken with the protesters. They said that we should listen to them and encouraged them to hold the line.
    Here is what happened. Lack of leadership on the Liberal side and encouragement on the Conservative side brought us to where we are now, here in the House debating an act that should not be invoked for this kind of protest.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his intervention. I am certainly concerned that it has got to this point and that the government left it for so long.
    I want to be clear, though. He refers to land defenders and environmentalists. A somebody who has been very engaged in movements, including Idle No More, I can say that we were peaceful. We never had guns. We never chose insurrection against the government. We never threatened to kill police. That constant measuring post in the House is deeply troubling and concerning. It fuels and feeds notions of white supremacy, which also fuel ideas in this illegal occupation.
    Would the member not agree that minimizing what is going on out there is further encouragement for the kind of extremist occupation, led by white nationalists, that we are seeing outside?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, at the risk of repeating myself, I would never minimize hate speech. That is just not the kind of person I am.
    I am worried about the future. I do not know whether, say, 10 years from now, the Reform Party will rise from the ashes like a phoenix and take over the Government of Canada. I do not know if that will happen in 10 years.
    I also do not know whether, 10 years from now, when they look at what is happening now and what the government did in 2022 with the Emergencies Act, they will use it against an environmental movement blocking a street. I do not want that.
    That is why MPs absolutely have to prevent the invocation of this act.

  (1040)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to note that I will be sharing my time with the member for Lac-Saint-Louis.
    I would like to start my remarks today by thanking you and the House administration staff for ensuring Parliament is able to function. I would also like to take a moment to thank all of the women and men in uniform for their service, working tirelessly to keep us safe and to restore law and order.
    The last two years have been tough for everyone. Canadians stepped up to keep their loved ones safe by following public health guidelines. I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been there to protect the safety of our communities. I thank them for doing their part in fighting this pandemic. I would like to thank essential workers from across the country, who have worked hard to keep our communities safe.
    I also want to speak about our hard-working truck drivers. The transportation industry has played a vital role over the past two years. When Canadians were advised by provincial mandates to stay home, truck drivers continued to work. They continued to work to provide medicine, food and supplies to keep our shelves stocked and keep our economy functioning.
    Brampton is home to hundreds of trucking companies. The transportation sector is one of the largest employers in Brampton and contributes significantly to the Canadian supply chain. To all the truck drivers who have continued to work heroically throughout the pandemic, I thank them for their service to our country.
    The workers represented by Unifor, Teamsters and the Canadian Trucking Alliance are doing their part in getting vaccinated and keeping the supply chain moving. They have clearly supported the need for truckers to get vaccinated and keep goods moving.
    Over the last couple of weeks, I have also received many phone calls from truck drivers in my riding about the blockades. They were very clear. The individuals who have occupied Ottawa do not represent them, their opinions or the industry at large. The individuals in convoys who unlawfully block border crossings across our country are not representative of the hard-working truckers we know.
    I would like to point out that there are individuals outside the chamber who brought trucks that do not belong to them. A constituent reached out to me the other day who is the owner of a trucking company. He called to tell me that they have a couple of trucks in Ottawa that drivers took on their own will for this occupation. They do not support what is happening outside and wanted to know how to get their trucks back. This should not be happening and is considered theft. I not only urge these truck drivers to return the trucks to their respective owners; I encourage those left outside to return home as well.
    I support peaceful protest. It is part of our democratic right, and everyone has a right to exercise their freedom of speech. After all, we are the party of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Freedom of speech and democracy is what we are known for as Canadians, but when international trade into our country is being impacted at our borders, residents do not feel safe in their own communities and our businesses have to unwillingly shut down, it is no longer considered a peaceful protest.
    The occupation on the streets of Ottawa is illegal. The occupations and blockades that popped up are a threat to our economy, supply chains and public safety. Residents of Centretown do not feel safe leaving their homes because they fear being harassed. Businesses are shut down because they fear for the safety of their employees. The individuals illegally blocking the streets in Ottawa talk about freedom for all, yet because of them, local residents are locked up in their homes. Small businesses who have already suffered enough over the course of the pandemic are closed. We must protect our critical infrastructure, like our border crossings across the country.
    This has a consequential impact on truck drivers trying to do their jobs by crossing the borders, who are unable to come home. That is not freedom. I have heard stories first-hand from concerned families of truck drivers who had to wait up to six hours one way to cross the border while transporting goods from the United States. Because of the blockades, they have had to sacrifice their time with their families. It has affected their mental health and put over 8,000 autoworkers out of work, impacting thousands of families across the country during the border blockades.
    I have heard from residents in Centretown who feel unsafe leaving their homes and are being harassed for wearing their masks. Their mental health has been impacted with the absurd amount of honking and noise they have had to endure. As a father, I cannot imagine what new parents and families with young children are having to deal with. Businesses like the mall and many local restaurants have had to temporarily close because of the illegal occupations.
    The illegal blockades have been disrupting the lives of Canadians and have been a threat to our economy and relationship with trading partners. The financial impact caused at the Ambassador Bridge was $390 million per day; it was $48 million per day in Coutts and $73 million a day in Emerson, Manitoba. Let me emphasize this: That is the impact per day.
    Canadians have been asking our government to take a stand against the illegal blockades and occupations and put an end to what is happening outside our institutions. We invoked the Emergencies Act to protect our communities and jobs, and to restore confidence in our institutions. It is also alarming that there is a significant number of foreign donations, and we need to be very cognizant of that. It is our responsibility to take this stand to protect our communities. As the Prime Minister said on Monday, when the Emergencies Act is invoked, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms continues to protect their individual rights.
    As our government has said multiple times, the Emergencies Act measures are not being used to call in the military and will not curtail freedom of expression or the freedom of peaceful assembly. The Emergencies Act is being invoked because the blockades and occupations are a threat to our supply chains, to our economy and to our public safety. The Emergencies Act provides law enforcement with additional tools, prohibits blockades and keeps essential corridors open.
    The RCMP and local police services have been provided with the additional resources they need to continue keeping our communities safe, and we have full faith in the important work they are doing. Since we invoked the Emergencies Act, most of our borders have now opened back up for critical trade. Now we must continue to work toward progress and ending the illegal blockades and occupations happening outside of the chamber.
    We have been asking the convoy members to return to their homes for almost three weeks now. The police have been clear in their warnings to the protesters. They have been given the option to return home safely, yet they choose not to. We have confidence in the RCMP, OPP, Ottawa police and other local police services to restore law and order. These are not measures that are being taken lightly, and no one's democratic rights will be infringed.

  (1045)  

    We are doing what is necessary to keep Canadians safe, and the measures put in place by our government are working. These mobile convoys are a threat to our communities. They can show up anywhere and take over a city. We have witnessed it at our nation's capital and ports of entry across the country, and it is simply unacceptable. No one wants their livelihoods taken away from them, and as parliamentarians, we need to stand up for Canadians to stop these illegal occupations.
    While some of the Conservative members opposite shake hands, give thumbs-up and high-fives, and pose for pictures with the leadership of the occupiers in Ottawa, let me remind members opposite that the convoy leadership, whom they meet with smiles, associates itself with far-right extremism that has been seen spreading hate and raising racist symbols and Confederate flags.
    We will not tolerate that as a party or as a nation. We stand up against all forms of racism and hate, and we will always take a stand. These are not Canadian values and do not represent our country. Unlike some members in the Conservative Party, we are not promoting the leadership figures in the convoy and the activities occurring outside the chamber.
    We have taken action to put an end to these illegal blockades. For once, I hope the members opposite stop, put the best interest of our country first and work with the government to protect and support our economy and public safety. We recognize the illegal blockades are a threat to our national security and will continue to do everything we can to keep Canadians safe.
    We understand the pandemic has not been easy for anyone and the impact it has had on the lives of Canadians, but illegal blockades at the border, around the country and in Ottawa are not the answer. Businesses are suffering. Employees are suffering. Canadians are suffering. It is important that we continue following the science and working in the best interest of all Canadians.
    The convoy members have made their point. It is now time for them to return home. I encourage the members opposite to step up and do the right thing by joining us and helping end this illegal occupation. I want to reassure those listening that charter rights are protected within this act, and that it is charter complaint.
    I fully agree with the right to peacefully protest, like my colleagues in the House, but we all know this is no longer peaceful. In a democracy, we must stand against those who prevent others, with threats and assaults, from living freely in our country. There are sinister elements at work here, targeting our critical infrastructure at our borders, hurting our economy and hurting Canadians.
    These sinister elements are financed by foreign money, and there must be consequences for those who engage in criminal behaviour. The increased measures in this act are allowing for greater financial scrutiny to enable our law enforcement agencies to effectively do their work and bring those responsible to account. Yes, we have made gains and progress, and we have seen our border crossings reopen, but as parliamentarians, we need to continue working to secure our progress and provide law enforcement the tools they require to end these illegal occupations and blockades.
    One of the highest elected offices in Canada is that of a member of Parliament, and with this privilege comes great responsibility. I would like to read a statement from the House administration website before I conclude today:
    Before a duly elected Member may take his or her seat and vote in the House of Commons, the Member must take an oath or make a solemn affirmation of allegiance or loyalty to the Sovereign and sign the Test Roll.
    It continues:
    When a Member swears or solemnly affirms allegiance to the Queen as Sovereign of Canada, he or she is also swearing or solemnly affirming allegiance to the institutions the Queen represents, including the concept of democracy. Thus, a Member is making a pledge to conduct him- or herself in the best interests of the country. The oath or solemn affirmation reminds a Member of the serious obligations and responsibilities he or she is assuming.
    Now, before another member opposite gets the bright idea to go out there and shake hands, give high-fives and take pictures with those who affiliate with far-right extremist, racist ideologies, violent rhetoric and conspiracy theories, I remind members about the oath we all took to protect our democratic institution and serve in the best interest of our country.

  (1050)  

    Madam Speaker, I am finding it a little hard to listen to this member and the Liberal Party talk about the safety of the population. I just looked at the Twitter account of the Prime Minister and there is nothing there about Houston, B.C., nothing about eco-terrorists attacking with axes and the millions of dollars in damages. I am hearing nothing about that. I am hearing only about this.
    When I left the House after speaking on Thursday night, a police officer opened the gate for me toward the convoy and told me to be careful. I thought to myself that there was danger here, but guess what he said next? He told me that it was slippery.
    I am not saying the protestors should be here, but I would like to know why the member is not talking about what is happening in the real world.
    Madam Speaker, since the member mentioned the police and what they are asking us to do to remain safe, I want to quote Ottawa's Chief Bell, who said yesterday, “Without the authorities that have been provided to us through these pieces of legislation, we wouldn't be able to be doing the work we are today.”
    These emergency measures have helped law enforcement authorities take away commercial licences of truck drivers, freeze bank accounts and cancel insurance, while compelling tow truck companies to help police remove vehicles.
    Since we are talking about the wonderful work the police are doing, it is important to note that they are here to restore law and order on our streets across the country. It does not matter if that happens in Ottawa or somewhere in B.C. I know we can always count on law enforcement authorities, but we need to continue to give them the tools to do their jobs.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am going to ask my colleague a question that I asked earlier and to which I did not get an answer.
    One of the main measures in this order involves freezing the bank accounts of Quebec and Canadian truckers, and we hear that they would be frozen for a week. Could the member give me more information on that?
    I imagine that some thought was given to this order. Is it for one week, yes or no?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in terms of the financial tools that we have given to police officers for tracking down funds from foreign interference, it is important to note that these tools were necessary so that we were able to make sure we protect our democratic institutions. They will help protect our citizens and Canada.
    We in this chamber represent a democracy, and when we see sinister elements at work, we must do everything we can to ensure that we are able to protect our democratic institutions.
    Madam Speaker, what we have seen here is a complete, manifest failure of leadership at every level that put us in this situation. The fact is, something that should have been contained through ticketing and normal police activity was allowed to metastasize to such a level that it became an international embarrassment that happened at the Ambassador Bridge.
    I ask my colleague this: Will the Liberals agree to our call for a full, complete, independent inquiry into every level of this crisis that has been allowed to happen, and then follow up as well to ensure that these tools that we need to use now will not be misused in future? Where is the oversight committee, so that we can make sure that these are limited tools to be used to get people safe again in the streets of Ottawa, without any further government abuse?
    Madam Speaker, I believe in transparency and oversight. As our justice minister has said, these measures are temporary, to restore confidence in our institutions and to restore law and order. We know that the Emergencies Act will help restore law and order, and it is working. We can see what is happening outside our chamber. Law enforcement is moving in full effect.
     I would note that they operate separate from our capacity as parliamentarians. We do not direct them, but we need to make sure we continue to give them the tools to effectively do their jobs. When I looked outside yesterday and saw Peel police in Ottawa, helping to restore confidence, it is because of the tools we gave in the Emergencies Act that police chief Bell has referred to. It is very important that we understand why the Emergencies Act was used and that it is extremely temporary, and that came right from the Minister of Justice.

  (1055)  

    Madam Speaker, like my colleague who spoke before me, I would like to thank the members of the Parliamentary Protective Service and the peace officers who have come to Ottawa to deal with this unprecedented situation.
    There has been a great deal of misinformation, misconception and misunderstanding around the pandemic and the public health measures that have been necessary, as well as about how these measures stack up against the guarantees in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I have received a great deal of mail, even prior to what we are experiencing today in downtown Ottawa, about mandates and how they violate charter rights.
    It is incumbent upon all of us to tell our constituents, which is what I have been doing, that the mandates and public health restrictions that are now being loosened and eliminated did not violate charter rights. If they had violated charter rights, court cases would have been brought, judges would have made decisions and mandates would have been struck down. That is just a fact of our democracy.
    As a matter of fact, in Newfoundland, at the very beginning of the pandemic, there was a very serious public health restriction that barred anyone from entering Newfoundland unless they had some kind of medical document. That case was brought to the court, and the court found that public health measure was not a violation of charter rights. It is very important, and it is incumbent on us, as elected members of Parliament, to reassure Canadians that their charter rights have not been violated. Yes, these measures have imposed constraints, but the constraints are not necessarily a violation of charter rights.
    Some will say in response that they do not want to talk about the courts because they are part of the government, or they are stacked with liberal-minded judges. Once we get to the point where there is no agreement on the structure of our democracy, and how it operates and functions, then it is impossible to have constructive conversations. Every law that is tabled in the House is accompanied by a charter statement. While orders in council do not require a formal charter statement, they are vetted for charter consistency.
    It is also important to remind Canadians that what we have been seeing in front of Parliament and at many border crossings across the country is not peaceful, lawful protest. We have to remind Canadians that these have been unlawful protests that have surpassed what can reasonably be considered legitimate protest based on constitutionally protected rights and freedoms.
    The so-called “freedom convoy” has not been without negative consequence, especially for the people of Ottawa. Businesses have been closed in downtown Ottawa, and workers who need to feed their families have not been able to work for three weeks. Their income has been stopped. As well, Canadians suffered income interruptions because of the blockage of supply chains at the border. These people have felt the very real consequences of these illegal blockades.
    I will go back to talk about the people of Ottawa, and will quote from an article that appeared recently in The Globe and Mail about the mental health impacts of the blockade here in Ottawa on the citizens of this city. It says, “Experts worry that the stress could have long-lasting effects on the health of residents who have also been navigating life during a pandemic.” Then the article goes on to quote Ivy Bourgeault, professor in the school of sociological and anthropological studies at the University of Ottawa, who stated, “I don’t think, as a resident, that one can look at one’s environment in the same way again. That when there are other protests, this will be a trigger.” She went on to say, “Uncertainty and no control just causes enormous amounts of stress, and that is in addition to the chronic stressors that people have been dealing with in relation to the pandemic.” I could go on.

  (1100)  

    I would also like to speak about the economic impacts. I mentioned these before, in a question to one of the hon. members who was speaking. The point I was trying to make was that if someone wanted to undermine the security of a nation, especially a trading nation that imports most of its products from a neighbouring nation such as the United States, they would block the points of entry. It would harm that nation. They would block the Ambassador Bridge. They would block crossings in Manitoba and Alberta. They would block 12 additional points of entry. Of course, they would also breach the confines of the CBSA plaza in Fort Erie, resulting in a lockdown of the office to prevent additional protesters from gaining entry. That is what someone would do if they wanted to undermine the security of this country.
    I have watched the reaction from the official opposition, and I do not want to be partisan because this is not a partisan issue. I have watched the reasoning and messaging coming from the official opposition for a couple of weeks. The first notion that the official opposition tried to float was that if the Prime Minister would sit down and have a cup of coffee with anti-democratic organizers, then everyone would go home happy. I do not believe that a so-called law and order party really believes in that notion.
    Then, the official opposition had been giving credence to the notion that the police are directed by the federal government. If the protest is still there, it is the fault of the federal government because it controls the forces of law and order. Many people believe that. Many people have written to me, asking why we cannot do anything about this. I remind them that in a constitutional democracy, governments, whether municipal, provincial or federal, do not direct the police.
    When the government finally did something by invoking the Emergencies Act, the official opposition recoiled in shocked surprise. They asked how we could possibly think of doing that, after telling the government that it was not doing anything. There is plenty of contradiction in the messaging coming out of the other side, but I would like to leave that aside for a moment.
    Another point that has been raised is that this could have been handled normally using normal laws, but we saw for three weeks that the Ottawa police were overwhelmed. They could not do anything, and we saw that. That is a historical record. For three weeks, the Ottawa police could not get this situation under control. That was not the federal police. That was not the provincial police. That was the Ottawa police.
    What did the Emergencies Act allow? It allowed the Ottawa police to be supported by police forces from, I think, seven other municipalities. What did the Emergencies Act allow? It meant that these police officers could join and help the Ottawa police in clearing out this blockade that is in front of the Parliament buildings, and they did not have to deputize each individual officer in some kind of bureaucratic process—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. members know full well that they will have an opportunity to ask questions and give comments, and I would ask them to hold their thoughts until then. They may want to jot them down as opposed to yelling them out.
    The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis has a minute and 30 seconds remaining.
    Madam Speaker, I think it is also incumbent upon us to tell our citizens what the Emergencies Act does and what it does not do. First of all, it is not the War Measures Act. I know that some members have tried to make a subtle link to that. Some have been less subtle, but it is not the War Measures Act. Second, the Emergencies Act does not suspend charter rights. Here we go back to charter rights. It is important that we tell citizens that the act is not suspending charter rights.
    Third, the act does not give the federal government control of local police. Fourth, it does not take away the right of lawful protest. What does it do? It gives FINTRAC the ability to stop the flow of financial support, much of it coming from other countries, south of the border more specifically. That is an important power. FINTRAC still has to respect the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, because the Emergencies Act does not suspend the charter.
    I will stop there and add some points through the answers I will give.

  (1105)  

    Madam Speaker, I certainly appreciate the member for his work on the environment committee as chair, but on this matter, he has said repetitively that the Emergencies Act is necessary so that there would not be a bureaucratic process for other law enforcement to come to the aid of the Ottawa Police Service.
    I am from British Columbia, and policing is actually a provincial responsibility. Peace officers are often called to support other areas when there is a policing issue. For example, B.C. LNG in November had 800 people protesting. That was all resolved utilizing existing provincial measures.
    This member has also talked about the Charter of Rights, and how important it is in regard to COVID. However, what he has not talked about at all are the civil liberties of every Canadian. There are restrictions that have been placed on people who want to assemble and who want to be able to donate to whomever they like, right across this country.
    He may not like what they are talking about, but would the member at least call upon the government to show that a proper review has been done on this emergency order so that charter rights are not being infringed upon unjustly?
    Madam Speaker, I would also like to say that I enjoy sitting on the environment committee with my hon. colleague, who is always well prepared for the meetings and holds the government to account.
    The act also allows the police in Ottawa to create a no-go zone: to prevent people from across the country from converging on Ottawa on weekends to cause more disruption. This has been attributed as one of the reasons why this operation has been successful.
    I must say that the charter still applies, and section 58 of the Emergencies Act required the government to give an explanation for why it was invoking the act. I would suggest that the member read that explanation.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague said that we need the Emergencies Act to secure the joint participation of police forces. That is completely false. That sort of thing is commonly done under ordinary laws. The same is true for criminal financial activity, which can be dealt with under existing laws. In fact, when we look at everything that is invoked in the orders, there is not a single measure that is not already enshrined in existing acts and regulations.
    Why bring out the atomic bomb of the Emergencies Act when everything that is invoked in the orders is already written into ordinary laws? It makes no sense.
    Madam Speaker, I think it is very likely that when we review the events and the existing legislation, there will be some fine‑tuning to be done in terms of the government's ability to follow the tracks created by new technologies that allow money to be sent anonymously to support illegal activities. This will be looked at when the situation is reviewed after the act is withdrawn.
    That said, it is very clear that the Ottawa police could not, until now, resolve the situation.

  (1110)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Bloc and the Conservatives keep saying that things are fine at the Ambassador Bridge, but I can walk two kilometres that way right now and tell the House that the Jersey barriers that were on Huron Church Road now are separating city streets and residents from themselves. On top of that, a convoy was just turned back again the other day, and it is estimated that more convoys might come back. Anybody can drive down here with three or four vehicles, get out of their cars and park, and basically delay $400-million worth of goods and services per day.
     I would like to ask the hon. member if city of Windsor residents and the people here deserve the proper supports from the federal government? We are protecting 14 kilometres of road to the highway, and at any point in time these are vulnerable. My residents are cut in half right now, including people in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada.
    Does he believe we could get support from the municipality? Right now, local residents are paying for this. It is not fair, and the threat and the danger are not gone.
    Madam Speaker, the situation at the Ambassador Bridge was a motivating factor in the government's decision. The act allows police forces to create larger no-go zones. If there is a threat to a border crossing such as the Ambassador Bridge, it would hopefully help to keep the bridge open.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by commending the work of the various police forces. So far, the clearing of the protest has been carried out in a calm and orderly manner, under the circumstances. I hope to see that continue.
    I would also like to thank the House of Commons staff and security service, whose outstanding efforts have made it possible for us to sit today under these exceptional circumstances.
    This is an extremely serious debate. The Emergencies Act is the nuclear option of legislative tools. It is the last resort. Governing by decree is not right. The decision of whether or not to authorize the use of this legislation lies with all of us as members of Parliament.
    What we decide will go down in history. We have the power to stop it or to give the government carte blanche. The decision falls squarely on our shoulders. I urge all parliamentarians across party lines to rise to the occasion in a way that reflects the gravity of the situation.
    The Emergencies Act is special legislation that should be invoked only when it is absolutely necessary. It is invoked after concluding that ordinary legislation is inadequate to deal with an urgent and dangerous situation. I really want to emphasize again that invoking this act is the nuclear option and must not be taken lightly.
    Some have argued that the act was necessary to send a message to the occupiers of Ottawa. There is no need to go nuclear to send a message.
    The motion before us is not just about accepting the proclamation of emergency measures. It asks us to accept three orders that contain a series of measures. Our duty, as parliamentarians, is to study these measures and ask ourselves whether each of them is truly necessary and whether there is no other way to solve the problem. If we conclude that any of them is not really critical, then we must reject the motion.
    The government could present a more suitable order if it thinks it is necessary. In that case, we will see. I am a Quebecker and a separatist. My colleagues will have no trouble understanding why the declaration of emergency measures feels like a punch to the gut to me.
    Some have argued that the current Emergencies Act is completely different from the infamous War Measures Act that was used to intimidate Quebeckers and tyrannize the separatists in 1970. That is true, and for good reason.
    To understand the purpose of the act, let us go back nearly 34 years to when it was passed. The act was passed in 1988, after being introduced in 1987. What happened in 1987? It was another time, but it helps us understand the intention of Parliament at the time.
    Brian Mulroney was in power. He was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, which no longer exists. He was elected on a platform of reconciliation with Quebec, which is something that Canada no longer talks about.
    In 1987, one of his reconciliation measures included signing the Meech Lake accord. He wanted to remedy a travesty committed in 1982, when English Canada amended the Constitution and reduced the National Assembly of Quebec's powers. This was done without us and against our will. The rest is history. The Meech Lake Constitutional Accord failed, as did the Charlottetown accord that followed, and there still has not been any reconciliation.
    That same year, the Mulroney government introduced the act we are discussing today. It wanted to repeal the War Measures Act, a piece of legislation that had traumatized Quebec 17 years earlier. The Mulroney government was attempting to remedy the travesty of 1970 the same year it was trying to make up for the travesty of 1982. That is why the Emergencies Act is different from the War Measures Act.
    This time, no police officers or soldiers will show up in middle of the night without a warrant and arrest innocent people whose only crime was having a different opinion. That will not happen this time around. Fundamental rights have not been abolished. There are safeguards now that did not exist under the accursed War Measures Act.
     In the past, the government could invoke the act at will. Now, there are safeguards. We are one of those safeguards, but safeguards are only helpful if they are used. I urge everyone to make use of these safeguards today.
    The first safeguard involves consulting the provinces. The act requires that the government consult the provinces and report back to Parliament. When this act was passed as part of the reconciliation with Quebec, no one ever thought that it would be imposed on us, because our consent was needed.

  (1115)  

    There was a requirement to consult. The government gave us a summary of its consultations, as required by law. It informed us that seven of the 10 provinces were opposed to the invocation of the Emergencies Act. Two of the three that agreed that the government had to invoke the act because of the problems in the city of Ottawa said that they did not need the act enforced in their provinces.
    However, the government chose to impose this act from coast to coast to coast. The government is imposing this act on Quebec, which said no. The Government of Quebec said no. Members from all parties in the Quebec National Assembly, which speaks on behalf of the people of Quebec, unanimously said no. This unanimous decision from the Quebec National Assembly is nowhere to be found in the three orders that the government is asking us to approve. Consultations are meaningless to this government.
    We understood that this act would never be imposed on us without our consent, but that is what is happening here. Reconciliation with Quebec, which, I will remind the House, was one of the cornerstones of getting the Emergencies Act passed, is being thrown out the window. The first safeguard to prevent government by decree failed. The government overrode it. The second safeguard is us parliamentarians.
    The government is bound by the act to inform us that the provinces are opposed and that Quebec is opposed, so that we take it into consideration. The orders being imposed on us do not take it into consideration, however. The act applies to the country as a whole, regardless of whether or not there are problems, or whether or not Quebec is opposed. This is contrary to the spirit of reconciliation with Quebec that led to the passage of the act. Reconciliation with Quebec, respect for Quebec—that rings hollow now.
    Let us get back to the act. Generally, two conditions must be met for the government to have the right to invoke it and for Parliament to be justified in approving it. First, there must be a dangerous and urgent situation. Second, it must be impossible to deal with the situation under existing laws, making it essential to move to governing by decree.
    The Emergencies Act requires the government to justify its decision to invoke the act and to lay before Parliament “an explanation of the reasons for issuing the declaration”. On Wednesday evening, the government sent us a document entitled “Explanation pursuant to subsection 58(1) of the Emergencies Act”. In this explanatory document, the government cites five reasons to justify its decision to invoke the act.
    (i) The occupiers threaten to use violence for the purpose of achieving a political or ideological objective.
    (ii) The blockades, in particular blockades of critical infrastructure, threaten Canada's economic security.
    (iii) The blockades, in particular those at the border, are detrimental to Canada-U.S. relations.
    (iv) The blockades threaten the supply of essential goods to Canadians.
    (v) There is potential for an increase in the level of violence.
    It is conceivable that the five reasons cited by the government may or may not be real. That is a matter for debate. Given that the Emergencies Act is the nuclear option, however, it sets the bar higher than that. Even if these five reasons were well founded, the fact remains that this is not enough. The government needs to meet one more criterion in order to proceed. Section 3 of the act states that it is not enough for there to be a crisis. The crisis must also be “of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it” and one that “cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada”.
    In other words, before it can invoke the Emergencies Act, the government must demonstrate that the crisis cannot be dealt with under ordinary laws and that it is absolutely necessary to resort to special legislation and government by decree. However, the government did not demonstrate this in the statement of reasons it gave to parliamentarians. Worse, it did not even attempt to do so, even though this is required under the act. It has remained completely silent on this.
    By the way, I will ask again, what laws are currently insufficient?
    The order states that it is prohibited to bring a child to an illegal protest. However, provincial child protection laws already prohibit exposing a child to a dangerous situation. That is already the case in both Quebec and Ontario. The Children's Aid Society, the Ontario equivalent of Quebec's Direction de la protection de la jeunesse, was already involved because Ottawa police had referred cases to it.
    Exactly how are the regular laws are not effectively dealing with the situation?

  (1120)  

    Order. I must interrupt the member.
    It seems that there was an interpretation issue, but it has now been fixed.
    The hon. member for Joliette may continue his speech.
    As I was saying, as far as child welfare is concerned, the file is already open.
    In what way are Canada's laws inadequate for coping with this situation? Why does the government consider the Emergencies Act to be necessary? We do not know—no one knows—because the government is not saying.
    The order provides for the possibility of having financial institutions freeze the accounts of those who participate in illegal demonstrations. However, the Criminal Code already prohibits the funding of illegal activities. This is already the case. The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act already authorizes financial institutions to freeze the proceeds of criminal activities or funds used to finance such activities. This is already the case under Canada's existing laws. There is no legislative void.
    In what way do these laws not allow us to deal with the current situation? Why does the government consider the Emergencies Act to be necessary? We do not know, no one knows, because the government is not saying.
    In fact, not only has the government never said why this power was indispensable, it has also never said in what way it could be useful.
    Last week, the government gave us a briefing on enforcing the act. What it told us about freezing bank accounts was disturbing. An assistant deputy minister from the Department of Finance explained how it would work. What the government told us was that it would be up to the financial institutions to freeze the accounts of those involved in the occupation in Ottawa. In other words, it would be up to the financial institutions to guess which of their members or customers are taking part in these illegal protests and then guess when they have left the protest so that their accounts can be reactivated. The government does not see itself as having any particular responsibility for this and says that it is the banks' responsibility. What a joke.
    Banks are not the police. They cannot know who is blocking the streets of Ottawa. The government is washing his hands of this situation. It is utter nonsense.
    Under the Emergencies Act, the government is required explain why it cannot end the occupation in Ottawa using existing laws. Not only has it failed to do so, but it has also not even told us how the act would help here.
    I will give another example. Pursuant to the executive order, the measures against financing criminal activity extend to crowdfunding platforms. Now, that is a good idea. In fact, it is such a good idea that it is already possible to take such action under existing laws.
    Crowdfunding platforms are already governed by the provinces. We have laws already, and they work. For example, on February 10, the Ontario Superior Court granted an injunction sought by the province to freeze funds raised by the “Freedom Convoy 2022” and “Adopt a Trucker” campaigns on the GiveSendGo crowdfunding platform. That happened under ordinary laws without the Emergencies Act and without the government's order.
    In what way do existing laws not allow for adequate management of the situation? Why does the government think the Emergencies Act is necessary? We do not know, we do not see and we do not understand.
    Here is another example. The order authorizes insurers to suspend the occupiers' insurance. How are the truckers going to be able to leave if they are no longer insured? If the truckers' liability insurance is suspended and an accident happens, the victims will not receive compensation for damages. How is it necessary or useful to take that away from victims?
    The government had a legal obligation to show that each of the emergency powers it was giving itself was absolutely necessary to resolve the crisis. In the case of suspending insurance, not only did the government not seek to demonstrate the absolute necessity of this measure, but it did not seek to demonstrate how it was useful.
    The order sets out a series of grounds for declaring a protest to be illegal, including the paralysis of critical infrastructure, significant obstruction of traffic, and so on. All of these grounds are included in one or more of the ordinary laws that are currently in force, whether it is the Criminal Code, highway traffic acts, or municipal bylaws.
    Law enforcement had all the legal tools to deal with the various border blockades. We saw that in Windsor and Coutts. There is no legal vacuum that needs to be filled by proclaiming emergency measures, as the government itself admits. It was not the absence of legislation that brought Ottawa to a standstill. In the government's statement of reasons, it does not even try to argue that there was a legal vacuum to be filled by the special legislation. That is just pathetic.
    The Emergencies Act is designed to make up for the inadequacy of existing legislation. It is not designed to make up for the government's lack of leadership.
    I could have understood the government needing emergency powers to requisition tow trucks and move the trucks currently being used as barricades in Ottawa. Even though the government did not make that argument, I could have understood it. A one-section order to address this shortfall in a very limited area might have been acceptable.

  (1125)  

    The orders before us are not just about requisitioning tow trucks in Ottawa.
    These orders amount to a carte blanche. They cover a series of actions without any apparent justification, and they apply throughout Canada, including Quebec, where there is no state of emergency.
    These extremely broad orders are what the House is being asked to approve.
    In all conscience, I refuse to do so. The Bloc Québécois refuses to do so.
    The Quebec National Assembly has unanimously called on the House of Commons to refuse to do this. The criteria for invoking the act have not been met. The government knows full well that the current laws are enough; otherwise, it would have told us so.
    The Emergencies Act does not address a need. All it does is save face for the Prime Minister, who let the situation get out of hand from the very beginning and wants to show that he is doing something. However, as I said, you do not drop an atomic bomb in order to send a message. Quebec does not want the emergency measures to apply in its territory.
    The government held consultations and was told no. It should have taken that for an answer, but it did not. Will parliamentarians do their part by hitting the brakes? Will they stand up against government by decree, or will they instead listen to the Liberal Party?
    We know that the Liberals will listen to what the government tells them. Once a lapdog, always a lapdog.
    Now I will turn to the NDP.
    In 1970, Tommy Douglas said that invoking the War Measures Act was like using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut. The law changed in 1988, but the situation remains the same.
    Proclaiming the Emergencies Act and imposing it on Quebec, where there is no state of emergency, is today's equivalent of using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut.
    Of course, the Emergencies Act is different from the infamous War Measures Act. It contains safeguards, brakes on the authoritarianism of government by decree, but the key brake is us parliamentarians. We have a heavy burden on our shoulders.
    Once a lapdog, always a lapdog. When it comes time to vote, we will see if the NDP should be called the New Liberal Party or remain the New Democratic Party. The NDP essentially has the burden of choosing between a democratic government and a government by decree.
    I am standing up and saying no to these three outrageous orders out of respect and love for my people.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Emergencies Act has already demonstrated that it can be effective. Law enforcement officers are, in fact, using it and it is being effective. We are very much concerned about the blockades shutting down downtown Ottawa and the blockades that have affected hundreds of millions of dollars in international trade on our trade corridors, and about the impact they are having today and will have into the future. These are very serious. We are talking about jobs and we are talking about health conditions. There are so many reasons to do this.
    Does the member believe that law enforcement officers are wrong today for using the tool we are providing them? Are our law enforcement officers offside with Parliament?

  (1130)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, from day one the Bloc Québécois has been calling on the government to act, to roll up its sleeves and to prevent the situation from deteriorating.
    The government allowed the situation to deteriorate and now, instead of moving in a measured way and using existing laws, it is using the nuclear option, the Emergencies Act, which is unnecessary.
    Did the parliamentary secretary listen to my speech? Not a single measure that was invoked is necessary. The police forces were already able to work together. They did not need emergency legislation for that. It is nonsense.
    The government and the Prime Minister are trying to save face because they have been asleep at the switch for three weeks. The government should be ashamed.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Liberals seem almost giddy today when talking about the effectiveness of what is going on out there. There was never any question that it was going to be effective. The question is whether it is justified. That is the question.
    I listened to the hon. member's speech and I appreciated his tone and what he had to say. If we are using the Emergencies Act today for this, in what other situations would this precedent allow the Emergencies Act to be justified if it is justified for this?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech. I completely agree with him.
    Everyone is saying that something needs to be done. This situation is a problem, but nothing justifies the nuclear option. The government was obliged to prove that there was no other option before it invoked the act.
    The government did not even try to prove this in the official documents it sent us, nor did it review the existing legislation. We did that, and we did not find any measures that were lacking in the existing legislation and that would justify the use of this act, other than the potential need to requisition tow trucks.
    The Liberal Party is making a questionable connection between the situation that needs to be resolved and the legislative atomic bomb it is dropping.

[English]

    Qujannamiik, Uqaqtittiji. We know how quickly extremist behaviour and ideologies can spread. With the sheer volume of this demonstration, I am genuinely concerned that racism will grow, entrench and allow widespread violence to ensue. This extremism is dangerous and must be dealt with urgently.
    I am not sure if the member heard the news last night, but the interim Ottawa police chief, Steve Bell, said, “Without the authorities provided to us through these pieces of legislation, we wouldn't be able to be doing the work we are today.”
    Does the member agree that extremist ideologies from other countries must be stopped and that Canadians must return to their Canadian roots of kindness to their neighbours?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my esteemed colleague for her question and comments.
    I want to be clear. We are criticizing the possible associations between questionable political positions, the unwarranted occupations and the use of the Emergencies Act, which we do not think is justifiable.
     I completely agree with what the member said about denouncing hate speech and unacceptable comments and continuing to fight this issue. That said, the government cannot claim that the Emergencies Act is required because the siege must be stopped.
    I remind members that in the 1970s, Tommy Douglas's party was the only one that opposed the invocation of the War Measures Act. I urge the NDP to draw some inspiration from Tommy Douglas and the decision he made back then.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Joliette for his speech. I have a question for him, and I hope I will be able to express myself clearly.
    I do not think the definition of what constitutes a threat to the security of Canada can be found in the Emergencies Act. Rather, it is found in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act, which refers specifically to foreign influenced activities.
    I find this deeply disturbing because I think that the misinformation about COVID‑19 and the vaccines, as well as the bizarre ideas that some protesters have are coming from two sources. Some come from Republicans in the United States but mostly they come from from Russia and Mr. Putin, who are spreading misinformation on sites like russiatoday.com. This site is accessible in Canada, which I find very surprising, since it spreads misinformation for the purpose of destroying democratic societies around the world.
    We need to make a decision about the Emergencies Act, but beyond that, we must take action against sources of misinformation. I would like to hear my colleague's thoughts on that.

  (1135)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank my esteemed colleague for his speech.
    This is indeed very concerning. We must not let foreign powers influence domestic policy, that is for sure. That is why, in my speech, I referred to the five reasons given by the government to justify its decision to use the Emergencies Act. I also pointed out that these reasons were justifiable and worthy of debate.
    However, in order to invoke the Emergencies Act, the government must demonstrate that the problem cannot be addressed by the ordinary laws and regulations already in place. It has not done so.
    There are already regulations and laws in place, for example,those concerning funding platforms. The government has not even tried to demonstrate that there is a legal void. That is our position.
    Madam Speaker, something rather ironic is happening in the House right now: An NDP member is sitting on a Liberal back bench. I hope that he is at least negotiating a seat closer to the front.
    Having said that, I hear members on the government side talking about a Maru poll that says all kinds of nonsense. According to this poll, 72% of Quebeckers have a favourable opinion of the Emergencies Act. However, those same members overlook the fact that the same poll found that only 17% of people across Canada think that the Prime Minister is doing the right thing. Canadians have a very low opinion of his leadership.
    If we look at the numbers, the only ones that matter are that 100% of the Quebec National Assembly voted against the Emergencies Act and that seven out of 10 provinces think that it is inappropriate.
    I would therefore ask my colleague a very simple question: What does he think of the opinion about the Prime Minister, and how should he act responsibly now?
    Madam Speaker, clearly people watching the situation deteriorate in Parliament want it to stop. They want it dealt with.
    If a polling firm asks questions about the Emergencies Act, most people are not going to take the time to dissect the act and understand why it was invoked and what has to be proven. Here, we study it, we analyze it, and we say the government needs to prove there is a legislative gap that needs to be filled. So far, the government has not even tried to do that. It makes no sense.
    We agree with Canadians that the situation needs to be resolved, but this statutory nuclear option was not the right way to do that. I am sure we agree on that.
    All parties in the National Assembly, including the Coalition Avenir Québec, the Quebec Liberal Party, the Parti Québécois and Québec Solidaire—I am not sure if the Conservative Party of Quebec's representative was in the legislature at the time, but I am told she was—unanimously said this made no sense. Why are the members from Quebec, including the Liberal Party members, not standing with their people?

  (1140)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in the last few weeks I have received phone calls from constituents asking me why it came to this. How is it that Canada, the true north strong and free, has come to declare a national emergency to handle trucks parked in downtown Ottawa?
    Let me be clear: It is time that the rule of law was restored in Ottawa, but what happened is a direct result of the fear and division created by the Prime Minister. I also want to tell people who are part of the convoy that my colleagues and I have heard their valid concerns on this side of the House. We will continue to push for an end to pandemic measures, as the science indicates should happen.
    People who have reached out to my office in the last few weeks are exhausted and frustrated, and they are tired of this Liberal government not listening or even trying to understand their point of view. After three weeks, law enforcement acted to resolve the situation. However, there was no attempt by the government to speak to the organizers. Instead, the Prime Minister continued to throw around divisive rhetoric and still has not provided a plan forward to end the COVID-19 measures.
    This past Monday, the Liberals had an opportunity to finally show some leadership and support the thoughtful and measured motion that we Conservatives brought forward. However, as usual, they partnered with the NDP and crushed the hopes of countless Canadians desperate for a pathway out of the pandemic. They crushed the hopes of many of my constituents in industries like tourism and transportation, constituents who were just looking for a path forward. Instead of working with members in the House and with provincial governments, the Prime Minister dug in with his name-calling. The people outside the West Block who were asking to be heard are just as Canadian as any member here. They should not be put down by someone who is supposed to be leading our country.
    We have now reached the point where we need to ask ourselves seriously if the use of the Emergencies Act was really necessary. The City of Ottawa had a state of emergency in effect and the Ontario provincial government also declared an emergency. Under the current powers that existed in those declarations and existing federal and provincial laws, the police had the tools they needed to handle the situation in Ottawa.
    The Emergencies Act clearly states that a declaration can only be made when it meets three conditions, including one that no other federal law or provincial power can deal with the alleged emergency. On top of that, Ontario has a plan to share law enforcement resources among municipalities without using the Emergencies Act. If the police already had the powers they needed and the Emergencies Act was not necessary to acquire manpower, why invoke the act for the first time in Canada's history?
    The act was not used for the Oka crisis, nor for either of the Vancouver riots in 1994 and 2011. It was not used in 2010 when protesters at the G20 in Toronto started a riot. This act has not even been used to address recent terrorist threats to Canada or the 2020 pipeline blockades. This government is setting an extremely dangerous precedent by invoking this act.
    The powers to deal with the situation here in Ottawa already existed. Despite what various ministers have said, the Governor in Council can direct the RCMP. It is all laid out in the RCMP Act under section 5. This government should know, because it used in 2017.
    The Liberals also claimed that they needed the Emergencies Act to direct tow trucks in clearing rigs from downtown. Well, we know that this is false too, because section 129(b) of the Criminal Code gives police the option to require anyone “without reasonable excuse, to assist a public officer or peace officer in the execution of his duty in arresting a person or in preserving the peace”.
    What is clear now is that invoking this act is just another power grab and overreach by this Liberal government, and that is scary. What happens in the future when the government does not agree with the political position of protesters in Canada?
    My constituents looked at the emergency declaration and asked, “Why?” How can this Prime Minister equate truckers parked in the middle of the road in downtown Ottawa to World War I, World War II and the October crisis, simply because he disagrees with the truckers' beliefs? He could have listened. He could have provided a plan forward out of the COVID measures. He could have handled the situation here in Ottawa without jeopardizing democracy. The RCMP and local law enforcement did it at B.C., Coutts, Emerson and the Ambassador Bridge.
    The Emergencies Act is not something we can throw around lightly. It is the absolute last choice after all else has fails.

  (1145)  

    The future of our country is at stake. The Liberal government and Prime Minister still cannot explain what steps were taken before invoking this act. When a national emergency is so urgent and dangerous, the government needs extraordinary powers, but where is that emergency? No matter what one's political stripe, supporting these sweeping powers is one of the most serious decisions a member of this House can make. It is serious because the use of the Emergencies Act impacts the rights and freedoms of Canadians, regardless of what the government says.
    This Prime Minister loves to throw around lines like “responsible leadership”. Leadership is standing up for the rights and freedoms of this country. Real leadership is protecting the fundamental principles of Canada and uniting Canadians. Despite someone having views different from the Prime Minister's, the government should not have the power to limit people's rights. Limiting rights should never happen without due process or an urgent national emergency.
     If we do not have a critical national emergency, then the only way to limit Canadians' rights should be through due process, yet the government is now using the act to shut down people's bank accounts. The deputy director of intelligence for FINTRAC, Barry MacKillop, said that there is no evidence that this funding in Ottawa is tied to ideologically motivated extremism, so why are people's judicial rights being shut down? Is the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty just something the government would ignore? Bank accounts are tied to people's lives and livelihoods. A person's support of a political process should never be a reason to interfere with Canadians' rights.
    Howard Anglin, former deputy chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, wrote:
    [T]he bottom line is that civil liberties in Canada are more vulnerable today than they were yesterday, and they will remain so as long as the declaration of emergency remains in place.
    The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has even taken legal action against the government, saying that the Prime Minister's action in invoking the act is “extraordinary” and “unconstitutional”. The association has said that legal requirements put in place to safeguard democratic processes have not been met.
    The Canadian Constitution Foundation has also said, “Emergency legislation should not be normalized. The threshold for using the Emergencies Act is extremely high and has not been met.”
    The World Sikh Organization of Canada is also opposed to this act; so is the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. The provincial governments of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta have also opposed the Prime Minister's overreach.
    The situation here in Ottawa never met the level of crisis that is needed to use the Emergencies Act. Invoking this act sets a dangerous precedent. It sends a message to all Canadians, now and in the future, that they cannot have dissenting opinions or views. In this time of fear and division, people are crying out not to trample on the traditions and beliefs that make Canada great.
     The Prime Minister has had many opportunities to de-escalate the situation and take a measured approach. Conservatives have been calling on the government to lay out a clear plan following science. Again, the Liberal government has completely shut out Canadians, even though two-thirds of Canadians want to see these mandates gone. This is all about mandates. It is a time for leadership in this country to unite Canadians, no matter what their views are.
    As members in this place, our first duty is to listen to our constituents and protect their rights and freedoms. When the people in power overstep and overreact, we risk the rights, freedoms and democracy that this place represents. This is why I cannot, in good conscience, support the use of the Emergencies Act. Now is the time for us in this House to stand up and find a way to return to a government that is not divisive and find a way to unite Canadians. We need to work together to have a Canada that is united, strong and free.

  (1150)  

    Madam Speaker, I would like to compliment the member on his excellent speech in this difficult time.
    I would like to ask him a question about the order in council that the government passed that led to the invocation of the act that we're debating today. One of the clauses in the act gives the government the power to impose “other temporary measures authorized under section 19 of the Emergencies Act that are not yet known”. It is a pretty open-ended power that the government is asking for.
    We know that the Prime Minister has limited respect for the House. He disregarded the request for the production of documents with regard to the Winnipeg lab. He tried to interfere in the legal system with the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
    Why should we trust him? He has not called a meeting of the privy councillors sworn in in this House to brief them on any security issues. Why should we trust that this power should be granted to the government, which is—
    The hon. member for Calgary Forest Lawn.
    Madam Speaker, trust has been completely broken by the Prime Minister, because he has not only repeatedly violated ethics but has also gone back on his word multiple times. Trust is the issue here. How can any Canadian continue to trust the Prime Minister?
    In his last question, my hon. colleague from the Bloc pointed out that a recent poll shows that a small percentage of Canadians trust the Prime Minister now. This is the same prime minister who said that he would not call a pandemic election. He went against his word then. He said that he would uphold rights and freedoms in this country. We can clearly see that this is the last thing the Prime Minister is doing.
    Trust has been broken. The Prime Minister needs to stand up and apologize to Canadians and prove that he is serious—
    I have to ask for other questions.
    The hon. deputy House leader.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague opposite for his speech.
    We are hearing today that some members feel it is not necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act. I want to read a quote directly from Steve Bell, the interim chief of the Ottawa Police Service. He said:
    All of those legislative pieces of legislation and supports we’ve got from different levels of government have directly and actively contributed to our ability to ultimately say we are in a position to move forward and look to end this demonstration.
    A 31-year veteran of the police force, he has said clearly that this legislation has helped to stop what is happening outside.
    Can the member comment?
    Madam Speaker, the member said “directly and actively”. The Prime Minister directly and actively forced this to happen in Ottawa, because he refused to listen to Canadians and he refused to sit down and listen to views that opposed his own.
    We did not need to get to this point. All of this happened because Canadians were asking for a clear direction and a plan to get out of these COVID measures, but the Prime Minister sat on his hands, as he always does, for three weeks and made no plans to even listen to people.
    That is why we are where are. This is all the Prime Minister's doing. We did not need to get here, so the Prime Minister needs to apologize for that. I wish the member would stand up and tell him the same.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Calgary Forest Lawn for his interventions today. I have worked very closely with him on getting supports for the people of Afghanistan.
    He talked about this as if it is a trucker protest in Ottawa. It is an occupation in Ottawa, but as an Albertan, surely he recognizes that an armed militia was discovered in Alberta that threatened the RCMP and displayed images of white supremacy and racism. It is not just in Ottawa; it is a national issue.
    If that is not a reason for the Emergencies Act, what is?
    Madam Speaker, what I will say is that all of the borders were already cleared. The provincial government stepped up and the local police stepped up. The federal government did not, and they had already cleared those borders.
    What the federal government did is a complete overreach. I hope that my hon. colleague will find it in herself to do what the hon. Tommy Douglas did at that time and not support this complete overreach by the Liberal government.

  (1155)  

    Madam Speaker, I just wanted to say, first of all, I appreciate all Canadians' prayers right now. I have been getting messages that they are praying for us in this place to make good decisions. I covet them and we are thankful for them, especially at this very trying time for our country.
    Today, we are debating the Prime Minister's Emergencies Act. We have already heard about the thresholds and whether they have been met. The Liberals will argue that they have been. However, across the board, across the country, we are hearing that they have not. Clearly, if I read them out to us today, we would see that they have not been met.
    This statement is from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association:
    The current emergency orders place significant limits on peaceful assembly across the entire country. They require financial institutions to turn over personal financial information to CSIS and the RCMP, and to freeze the bank accounts and cut off financial services provided to anyone who has attended, or who has provided assistance to those participating in, a prohibited assembly—all without judicial oversight.
    It is in light of all these violations of civil liberties that we will be taking the government to court....
    This becomes a great concern for that mother or grandmother who donated $20 for the cause of freedom to the truckers convoy. What started off as a simple protest for truckers' mandates has developed into something much larger, into a defence of freedom in Canada. Is the grandmother that donated $20 on some Liberal list now and cannot travel after this? We do not know. We do not know how far and how wide this act will go or what the Prime Minister is trying to do.
    I figure it is important that, while we often refer to our freedoms, I will read them out. Section 2 of our fundamental freedoms reads:
    Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
    Section 6 reads, “Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain and leave Canada.”
    Section 7 reads, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.”
    Section 8 reads, “Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.”
    Section 9 reads, “Everyone has the right to not be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.”
    The Emergencies Act really allows the Prime Minister to push those aside and do whatever he wants. Some ask me how we arrived here. That is the question I would ask all Canadians. How did we get here? This is the Prime Minister that has been leading up to this. This will be his crescendo.
    Does everybody remember the Prime Minister's values test that was given to summer student jobs a number of years ago in 2017? In December of that year, the government introduced an attestation that if someone did not adhere to the Prime Minister's beliefs or his values, the funding was not going to come to them.
    I remember many times fighting this in my MP office, fighting so that all members of our community would have access to those summer student jobs. Over 1,500 applications were denied because they did not meet this values test. On March 19, 2018, we tabled a motion. Former Liberal MP Scott Simms voted against the government. He was put on the back bench because of that. This is the Prime Minister four years ago. We have seen this developing for many years now.
    I think what Canadians are becoming, sadly, aware of is that this is really who the Prime Minister is. I wrote a column a couple weeks ago and this is the quote from the actual Prime Minister's mouth. This is a man who is supposed to unite the country, not divide it. He said that they are extremists who don't believe in science, that they're often misogynists and also racist. He said that it is a small group that muscles in, and that we have to make a choice in terms of leaders, in terms of the country, “Do we tolerate these people?”
    This quote is not from some far left-wing or far right-wing individual. This is from the Prime Minister's own mouth. This is the person invoking the same act we are debating today and it is shameful.
    Some would ask why. It would seem to make more sense to unite the country than divide it. Here is an article from Lorrie Goldstein, who writes, “Trudeau can't unite us because his strategy is to divide us.” This is what it is all about—

  (1200)  

    The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is rising on a point of order. I imagine it is about the use of names.
    Madam Speaker, it is not just the first time. It is the second time the member has made reference to it and he knows better, I am sure, than to cite specific names in the House.
    I will remind the hon. member that we do not use members' names. We use their titles or constituencies.
    I will try not to do it again, Madam Speaker.
    I will go back to the article entitled “Goldstein: [The Prime Minister] can't unite us because his strategy is to divide us”, which states, “This because [the Liberals] divided Canadians up into little slices of political support and opposition across the country, in order to extract the maximum number of seats from the minimum number of votes cast.” This is by design. The Prime Minister ran on sunny ways. Conservatives lost that election and hoped that he would at least be a positive Prime Minister, but what we have seen over the last four years is a Prime Minister bent on, shamefully, dividing the country.
    I will continue to quote:
     From riding into office on the promise of “sunny ways,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s embrace of identity politics has led to an incredible failure of governance, resulting in him becoming just the fourth prime minister to invoke the Emergencies Act (or its predecessor) and notably the first to do so outside an actual war or insurrection. It is a shocking fall, with a witches brew of wedge politics, incompetence and identity politics to blame.
    It further states:
    Then, imperceptibly at first, the great scourge of our political age began to make appearances within the Trudeau Liberals: identity politics. With—
    I remind the hon. member not to say members' names, please.
    Madam Speaker, I was reading the quote. I apologize once more.
    With astonishing speed, opponents of government action could quickly be labelled racist, misogynist, homophobic or any other of a litany of insults intended to personally scar opponents and discredit them as the worst society has to offer, without addressing the substance of their argument.
    We are debating the Emergencies Act today and it has come to this culmination by design of the Prime Minister. This is what he wants to happen. This is from the sunny ways Prime Minister whom all who voted for hoped would become the great unifier of our country. Are a bunch of truckers or peaceful, freedom-loving Canadians the problem today? They are not. The Prime Minister and his Emergencies Act is, and the act needs to be defeated.
    I especially call on the NDP. We know the Bloc have shown opposition to it and Conservatives are in opposition to it. My hope is that Liberal members across the way will oppose it as well. There needs to be 20 more NDP members who vote against this for it to fail. For the sake of our democracy in this country, it needs to, and I call on New Democrats today to do that.
    We hear Canadians across the country and appreciate their prayers, emails and communications of concern. We take our responsibilities in this place very seriously and that is why we are here this weekend to debate this act that threatens our very institution.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for quoting the Prime Minister when he made the comments about the types of people he was talking about. He was referring to a small group. I would ask the member why it is that, since the beginning of this debate, you have consistently, on the other side of the House—
    I would remind the hon. member to direct her question through the Chair, please.
    I apologize, Madam Speaker.
    I would ask the member opposite to please explain, if the quote he read says that the Prime Minister was referring to a small group within the organization, why the party opposite continuously says the Prime Minister was referring to all the protesters and truckers, whom we all support.

  (1205)  

    Madam Speaker, I am shocked by what the member asked me. She is basically justifying the Prime Minister's comments. The reference was to people who had vaccine hesitancy, as we call it. She is saying that it is okay that the Prime Minister called them extremists who don’t believe in science, often misogynists, also often racists, with a small group that muscles in, and that he said, “We have to make a choice as a leader, as a country: Do we tolerate these people?”
    My goodness, I am surprised the member would defend that statement in the House. Maybe she could get a copy of the Constitution and study our fundamental freedoms to understand what our freedoms are. They are supposed to be for every Canadian in our country, not just the ones who do what the Prime Minister chooses to do.
    Madam Speaker, I have a point of order. The member opposite is addressing me directly. He is also calling into question whether I have any knowledge of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
    Please direct the questions to the Chair.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by agreeing with my colleague from Prince George. It is always nice to find common ground. I was one of only three members of Parliament on the opposition benches who voted with his party, condemning the use of the specific phrase he mentioned in the summer grants program. I remember clearly that vote. I felt that it was a misuse of a grant program by appropriating into language that was elevated to charter language something that could be seen on either side as within the scope of the charter.
    I am still undecided as to how to vote on this motion. I am looking to my friend, because he is my friend. I do wish that we could have ideas on how to lower the temperature in this place so that we do not descend into hurling insults across the way. Canadians do not want to see that.
    Madam Speaker, I appreciate the member's comments. There is an old phrase from the Bible that says a calm answer turns away wrath. I think in this place we do need to bring the calmness, so we do not encourage things to get worse. I absolutely take that. I feel it is all of our responsibility to be that way. That is where I think this act is fanning the flames.
    We need to do our very best to bring peace to our country again and unify our country again like it really wants to be. “God keep our land glorious and free.” That is what we are all striving to do.
    Madam Speaker, I am pro-vaccination, but I have friends and constituents who are not. They have made a different decision. We have had conversations about it and I cannot convince them. Many of them have reached out. Some of them who were working for the public service are not anymore as they lost their jobs. I talked to more than one person who had to give up their house because of it. They are coming to us asking what to do. On top of that devastation, they have a Prime Minister who referenced them as being misogynists and racist, as was mentioned.
    I am sure the member has heard from people in that same devastating situation. What impact would it have if the Prime Minister would simply come back to say that he spoke too strongly, he got it wrong and he has heard people's concerns? What impact would that make to the de-escalation of what we have seen over the past—
    The hon. member has 10 seconds to answer.
    The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies.
    Madam Speaker, that was a great question. This place is often a place of contention, but it needs to be a place of forgiveness too. We have given the Prime Minister that opportunity. I even called on him to just apologize.
    I think a lot of people feel like that. They would accept a simple apology, but we have not heard that yet. We are calling on him—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Trois-Rivières.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
    I am against invoking the Emergencies Act.
    I commend the work of the police officers, who have shown remarkable composure and professionalism. I hope this illegal occupation will end without violence.
    Many protesters have made the reasonable choice to leave. However, a fractious group is still refusing to go home. It is possible they are extremists. They are the ones who came to occupy, not to protest. It is to be expected that they will be difficult to remove, but none of this justifies using the Emergencies Act.
    To invoke and enforce the act, two things must first be demonstrated. First, that there is a dangerous and urgent situation. Second, that it is impossible to deal with the situation under existing laws. I do not believe this to be the case.
    Faced with such a situation, I think it is important to distinguish between an exception, in other words, something that only occurs once and will not reoccur, and a precedent, which is something that is expected to happen again. I do not think we should make a precedent out of an exceptional situation.
    I personally believe that invoking the Emergencies Act is the direct result of a terrible lack of vision and leadership. With that in mind, the question that remains is this: How did we get to where we are today?
    We all knew that the truckers were coming. We all knew that, once they were here, it would be difficult to remove them. Did all of us really know that? No. The Prime Minister said that the right to protest was important, and I agree. I also agree that everyone should be able to express themselves freely. That was before the protest became an occupation.
    Throughout the first week of the occupation, the Prime Minister was quick to lecture us, saying that he could not direct the police, that the police had to submit their requests and that it was the police's job to control the situation. That is why the police chief asked for 1,800 additional officers, but he got only a few dozen. That is when the occupation became really entrenched. Was it a lack of vision on the part of the Prime Minister, carelessness, flippancy or a lack of leadership? Who knows.
    To understand the situation—and I propose that we discuss it in order to explain it—it is worth noting that this ill-advised decision is a logical extension of previous decisions, which were all equally clumsy.
    The current Liberal government was elected in 2015 on promises for a better future, one where transparency would be a priority and where Canada would reclaim its place on the international stage. That was in 2015, and the Liberals were saying that Canada was back.
    It was definitely a breath of fresh air and there was hope for better days. The Prime Minister met with world leaders and graced the front pages of celebrity magazines. The whole world admired his youthful good looks and colourful socks.
    Hope appealed to Canadians, but all was not well. In January 2017, the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner began an investigation into the Trudeau family's vacation on the Aga Khan's private island, and that investigation resulted in a reprimand from the commissioner.
    It was the first time a prime minister had been reprimanded by a Conflict of Interest and Ethics commissioner. The first Trudeau report, because there would be others, was shameful for a prime minister—

  (1210)  

    I remind the hon. member not to use colleagues' names.
    You are absolutely right, Madam Speaker. That was the name of the report.
    After this rebuke, the Prime Minister tried to justify the unjustifiable by responding that he was sorry, that he was responsible, that he would do better in the future and that he would make sure to have his vacations approved by the commissioner. In short, it was a cop-out we would hear many more times in the future.
    I must interrupt the hon. member because we have a point of order.
    The hon. member for Humber River—Black Creek.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I think this is out of order. We are talking about the Emergencies Act. We are not talking about an ethics report from some time ago.
    There is a certain measure of leeway to allow the member to make his point.

[Translation]

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès: I would like to finish my answer, please.
    I wanted to say that the hon. member has an opportunity to find some context, but we are talking about the Emergencies Act.
    Absolutely, Madam Speaker. I fully agree.
    The context that I am bringing here allows me to draw a line, which for the moment is drawn as a solid line but where we can see the dots that are connected. I will shorten my remarks on the line in question.
    A little later, the Prime Minister was still making headlines about ethics and the SNC-Lavalin affair. When we read the report, we learned that the commissioner had tried to meet with him a hundred times, but that did not happen. In my opinion, this is avoidance. There too, he was not responsible for anything.
    That has continued; this line is continuous and that is what we need to see. In 2020, as we know, the federal cabinet chose WE Charity to administer the Canada student service grant. There were ties between that organization and the Prime Minister's family, namely his children, his wife, his brother, and so on. The Prime Minister did not shoulder the blame in that situation, but we know what happened next. I mention all of this to say that the Prime Minister has a troubled relationship with ethics, with the concepts of what is right and just, which brings us to the Emergencies Act.
    In my opinion, in these situations that I briefly described, the Prime Minister demonstrated a complete lack of judgment, and that is not what we expect from a leader. Even recently, on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Prime Minister chose to go surfing rather than to pay tribute to a people he personally chose to honour. Is that an ethical failure? Certainly not, but it shows a lack of judgment. Once again that is not what we expect from a leader. The most recent example of a lack of judgment is the invocation of the Emergencies Act.
    I am listing these failures in order to draw attention to the Liberal mindset. In my opinion, repeated errors in judgment and contempt are part of their DNA. When we have contempt for an object or person, we believe they are unworthy of respect or esteem. I will give three examples of contempt relating to the office of Prime Minister, the institution of Parliament and the people.
    At the beginning of his mandate, the Prime Minister showed contempt for his office with the costumes he wore. He should understand that he is not acting in a play.
    As for contempt for the institution of Parliament, the ethics breaches that I mentioned and the audacity of calling an unnecessary vanity election come to mind.
    As for contempt for the public, after actively doing nothing, the Prime Minister uselessly invoked the Emergencies Act, which is not something that the provinces wanted or found to be useful under the circumstances—as my colleagues have clearly shown—because most of the powers used so far by police officers already existed at the provincial and municipal levels.
    It is a strong-handed measure that is actually an admission of weakness. In fact, it is a textbook case of hubris—my friends know my background in philosophy. Hubris is when somebody becomes too vain, cocky or intoxicated with power, and eventually loses control and risks making poor and potentially fatal decisions.
    The Prime Minister has made an art out of adding insult to injury through his lack of substance, numerous ethics breaches, poor judgment, contempt, arrogance and hubris.
    The Prime Minister called an unnecessary snap election and invoked the Emergencies Act for no good reason, which did not help in Coutts, in Windsor, or even in Ottawa. That, to me, is unacceptable. How did we end up here? If we have been paying any attention at all, and add up the lack of judgment and leadership, it is hardly surprising that we are here today discussing this legislation.
    When I look at everything that the Prime Minister has done, it seems to me that over time he has started to confuse public interest with political games, public interest with personal interest.
    The Emergencies Act is the wrong response, a response lacking in leadership to a situation that required maximum leadership. The Emergencies Act, as I said, is a strong move, but it is an admission of weakness. Rather than bringing out the nuclear weapons, I think that he should have acted sooner. I wonder whether the Prime Minister should put the legislation in question to a free vote in order to see what all members of the House really think.
    Before he racks up one too many lapses in judgment, I encourage the Prime Minister to ask himself whether he still feels like governing.

  (1215)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, no charter rights are being infringed upon here. It is very clear in the public order that that is the case. This is not the War Measures Act. It is a much more specific application of federal laws that are being made available to provincial and municipal authorities to be able to address the issue. Indeed, 72% of Quebeckers actually support the government's measures on this.
    On Monday, the spokesperson for the Bloc called for federal government leadership. Then the Government of Canada provides tools to the provinces and municipalities to help deal with the situation, and now the Bloc is of course against it. What I think the Bloc is missing is this: It is not just about Ottawa. It is about what comes next, because some of the key organizers of this protest have said they intend to set up shop elsewhere.
    Does the Bloc not agree that having discretion for its police force, the SQ, to support Lacolle, Quebec and other key junctures in its province is a good thing? The Bloc normally loves discretion to the provinces, except now.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question.
    Police discretion is important. The police must be able to act within the bounds that they find acceptable.
    The current powers delegated to the municipalities and the provinces would have been able to cover most of the situations that have occurred. The problem is that they did not act soon enough.
    I do not think that the issue is a lack of authority. I do not think that there has been a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms at all.

  (1220)  

    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his speech. I am on the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics with him, and I would like to say that he is a very honourable man.
    I am very worried. The order issued by the government authorizes it to impose other temporary measures authorized under section 19 of the Emergencies Act, which are not yet known.
    The Prime Minister is basically asking the House to grant him limited powers, but that, actually, is quite broad.
    Is the member also worried?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member.
    The fact that we are unaware of certain parts or sections of the act is indeed worrisome.
    If we are to support it on Monday, as planned, I demand that we be allowed to read the whole text.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the Bloc and the Conservatives keep saying things are fine at the Ambassador Bridge in the Windsor area, when they are not. If I could pick up my computer and walk two kilometres down the road, I could show the barriers that are now in the community.
    Why is my friend from the Bloc abandoning the francophone population in my region? West of Montreal, this is the oldest Francophonie settlement. We have a number of different individuals who are now impacted, not just their businesses, but also going to medical appointments and going to their jobs. There is a whole series of things that are still there.
    Why do they insist there is no problem? Why has the Bloc abandoned the Francophonie population, a settlement in the Windsor-Essex County area since the 1700s?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I cannot believe what I am hearing.
    We are not abandoning anyone. Contrary to what the member is insinuating, we are not the ones talking about “anglophones”, “francophones”, “racialized” and “non-racialized” people. We are talking about everyone. We have to deal with this situation for everyone, as complete equals.
    The member's comment is malicious. I do not agree.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Trois-Rivières for his speech and also commend him and his colleagues for their speeches, which have clearly indicated that the government has not shown any justification for why this should be coming forward and imposing this upon Canadians.
    I am sure they have heard from their constituents, just as I have, about the non-confidence in the Prime Minister and the overstepping of boundaries he is doing with this move. He is picking and choosing what is going on. A concern that has been mentioned about the act is the fact that it is opening up doors for financial implications. The reality is that we see the Prime Minister making these choices.
    Are there concerns in Quebec that this could be extrapolated to other groups and organizations within Quebec, just like with Coastal GasLink in—
    I must give the hon. member for Trois-Rivières a few seconds to respond.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I could not agree more. We have to be very careful.
    This kind of legislation can serve the public good, but it has to be more specific. This one does not meet the fundamental criteria.
    Madam Speaker, the Bloc Québécois strongly condemns the occupation, the siege and the blockades. That is clear, and I hope nobody will ever doubt it.
    I refuse to play the game the Liberals and the NDP MPs want to play. I think it is deplorable. Do not ask me to just go along with it. This order is utterly out of proportion. It could destroy our freedoms. The Liberals deployed it in the hope that we would not notice their incompetence and their sloppy, pathetic handling of the crisis.
    This government, and particularly this Prime Minister, were asleep at the switch for three weeks. As my leader said, out of nowhere, they dropped a nuclear bomb, the Emergencies Act. Our role as BQ MPs is to protect our constituents from these bad federal government decisions. Taking coercive action without taking Quebec's opinion into account was a very bad decision.
    The government had police forces at its disposal. They were capable of taking action; they had the tools to do so. Unfortunately, the government waited too long. As my leader said, it is obvious that a truck parked on the white lines of a public roadway, even if it is just for a minute and a half, is breaking several laws.
    Let us talk about existing laws. Subsection 430(1) of the Criminal Code reads as follows:
    430 (1) Every one commits mischief who wilfully
(c) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property; or
(d) obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.
    Note that property here can refer to a road, bridge, tunnel or port.
    The right to protest is a recognized right. However, a protest can be declared illegal for several reasons. For instance, section 63(1) of the Criminal Code states, and I quote:
     63 (1) An unlawful assembly is an assembly of three or more persons who, with intent to carry out any common purpose, assemble in such a manner or so conduct themselves when they are assembled as to cause persons in the neighbourhood of the assembly to fear, on reasonable grounds, that they
(a) will disturb the peace tumultuously; or
(b) will by that assembly needlessly and without reasonable cause provoke other persons to disturb the peace tumultuously.
    Both types of mischief constitute offences that have been perpetrated continuously for 23 days. Individual freedom does have its limits. We were already at that point a few weeks ago. This is not a new problem. A free and democratic society forms the basis of our social contract.
    The Prime Minister should clearly have woken up sooner. He knew that the Ottawa Police Service did not have the staff to manage this crisis, and he did nothing to help. On February 10, Ottawa asked for an additional 1,800 police officers. The federal government sent 275. That is not too bad. However, they were mainly assigned to the Prime Minister and Parliament. In reality, 20 police officers were added to the detail monitoring the protesters. That is embarrassing and shameful.
    Suddenly, on day 16 of the occupation, the Prime Minister woke up and spoke about the nuclear option, the Emergencies Act. The government says it is justified in invoking this act, so let us talk about the justification or the lack thereof.
    Since Monday, the government has used its order to financially punish and literally ruin the protesters and their associated entities. Did we then see the protesters run away with their tails between their legs? No. Everyone is talking about one case that was reported on the news two days ago, I believe, the only known case, the only recorded case.

  (1225)  

    The protesters have remained, more determined than ever, now convinced that they are living under a dictatorship. This government provoked them and continues to provoke them.
     The Economist wrote that this act could make the situation worse. I think it hit the nail on the head. It was right on.
    The second thing covered by this order in council is the much-talked-about towing logistics. Tow truck drivers in the area apparently did not want to use their equipment to tow the trucks. The government could have looked to bring in tow trucks from outside the national capital, which would have eliminated the need for this order in council.
    When there is a big storm that causes massive damage in Sherbrooke, what happens? People from Saguenay will show up quickly to help. That is how it works in Quebec, at least. People come from far and away to help. All you have to do is ask.
     Furthermore, the Bloc Québécois offered to form an all-party crisis task force in the early days of the occupation. We wanted to work together to address this effectively. The Prime Minister took his time agreeing. He wound up backed into a corner and said yes.
    The Bloc Québécois wanted and still wants to help the country get out of this mess, this terrible crisis. The reality on the ground is that the police are now doing their job and they did not need this order to do it. They needed more people.
    The Bloc Québécois is opposed to this legislation because it was and still is sufficient to allocate as many police officers and resources as necessary to each site, for example to the Ambassador Bridge and Coutts.
    A moment ago, I was talking about solidarity. I would like to express my gratitude to the Sûreté du Québec officers who came to lend a hand to our Ontario neighbours. I would also like to express my deep admiration to the seven police forces that have been here in Ottawa since Friday and who are doing an extraordinary job of removing the occupiers. They are professional, methodical and effective. I have nothing but praise for them.
    By the way, there are not many NDP members here today, so maybe the NDP is reconsidering its position. At least that is what we hope. After all, only fools do not change their minds.

  (1230)  

    The hon. member for Longueuil—Charles‑LeMoyne on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, the hon. member opposite knows full well that he is not allowed to mention the absence or presence of members.
    Indeed. I thank the member for reminding me.
    I would ask the hon. member to wait until his microphone is on before apologizing.
    The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
    Madam Speaker, I understand, and therefore I will not mention the absence of the NDP members.
    I would remind the hon. member that he is doubling down on the comment for which the point of order was just raised. I would therefore ask him to withdraw his comments without saying anything further.
    Madam Speaker, I was a bit unruly and I apologize.
    The member for Windsor West, on a point of order.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, we all know that one cannot do inadvertently what one cannot do overtly. Members of the NDP are here online, just as other members are, so that is an irresponsible comment and a cheap parlour trick.

[Translation]

    Indeed, that is what I said to the hon. member.
    The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
    Madam Speaker, I withdraw my remarks.
     The Canadian Civil Liberties Association announced that it would challenge the Emergencies Act in court.
     The group stated that the government already had the tools to address the situation and that the order was unnecessary, unjustifiable and unconstitutional. We could not agree more.
     Amnesty International has expressed concern about some aspects of the order that are vague and could result in rights abuses, especially relating to the geographic limitations. That is the message we have been driving home since Thursday.
    This act is disproportionate and overly broad. It certainly should not include Quebec, nor should it include the other six provinces that disagree with the order.
    However, I completely agree with my Liberal colleagues that the occupation must be cleared out as soon as possible. Unfortunately, as we have said over and over, and as I will now say again, this has to happen in stages. To summarize, this law of last resort does little to resolve the current situation, but it does a lot to discredit Quebec and Canada on the international stage. It does a lot to threaten one of our fundamental freedoms. The Bloc Québécois absolutely does not support the use of this act. It is unfortunate that we should have to spend three days debating it.
    It is even sadder considering that we are witnessing the dismantling of the occupation outside as we speak.

  (1235)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I want to acknowledge the Province of Quebec and thank it for intervening and helping us with the illegal blockade we have outside. This is a national problem, and what is happening in Ottawa is not the only issue we are dealing with. We are dealing with issues from one part of the country to another, and that is why we need the Emergencies Act.
    I would like to know if my hon. colleague is supportive of having the SQ continue to help us. It is helping us very importantly outside right now.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, it is absolutely extraordinary that the Sûreté du Québec is helping Ontario and British Columbia.
    We stand together. The provinces will be excellent neighbours for us, and we will continue to stand together. That is clear.
    According to most newspapers, there is not much going on outside of Ottawa. Basically all the protests and blockades have been cleared.
    Madam Speaker, the Minister of Justice revealed yesterday that the financial provisions of the Emergencies Act were aimed more at punishing political opponents than at actually fighting crime.

[English]

    Can members imagine living in a country like Canada where a law or an act is designed to beat down political dissent on the part of opposition parties. That could include the Bloc Québécois, for example. I am interested in the member's comments on that.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, this is another great opportunity for me.
    I asked that question this morning but did not get an answer. We are talking about finances. The order is meant to affect the personal finances of truckers, except it has unintended consequences. I think it is wrong.
    People's bank accounts are being frozen. This morning I asked whether they would be frozen for a week or a month. How long will these accounts be frozen? Will it affect people's credit ratings?
    This could destroy people.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I appreciate working with the member on the veterans committee and appreciate and respect his opinion. I also appreciate that while I sat through his speech, I was in the camera shot the majority of the time.
    I am wondering if the member could answer a very important question.
     I do agree with some parts of his intervention, like the fact that the government took too long to respond. We did not see action, and it should have had action. All levels of government failed, and here we are today having a debate on something that I wish we did not have to debate, because governments did not do their jobs. We also know the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is suing the government, which I support. I think it is absolutely important that we have systems in place to make sure everything that is done is done well and with accountability.
     I am wondering if the member agrees this is a good step and that a committee to oversee this needs to be set immediately.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I am having a hard time understanding exactly what the question is, so let me take this opportunity to ask the NDP members to really think carefully about this.
    New Democrats have extremely humanist values, more so than many people in the House. The NDP members are social democrats. Whether we like it or not, the legislation we are about to pass—or not—will hurt workers.
    Workers are the New Democrats' target audience. That is all I wanted to add to my colleague's speech.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to represent the constituents of Kelowna—Lake Country.
     Friday, March 13, 2020, will be forever in my memory as the day we closed Parliament due to the coronavirus pandemic declaration, and we all made our way home. In response to the pandemic, the Liberals brought forth legislation in which, at the eleventh hour, they added in clauses which would have given the finance minister unchecked power to tax, spend and incur debt, with no budget, no debate and no parliamentary oversight for 21 months.
    After weeks of not sitting, the Liberals finally introduced a dramatically reduced Parliament for the next several months where MPs could ask questions, but other parliamentary abilities such as opposition day motions, emergency debates and many other daily functions did not occur. This was a crossroad in history for our democratic institutions and how it was going to operate during this world crisis at that time.
    Conservatives strongly pushed back on giving the government ultimate financial power, and in May 2020, I flew back to Ottawa and was standing in the House of Commons debating these issues. My speech garnered national media attention as a rookie MP who was passionately standing up for democracy. I feel like we are in a similar situation with the Liberals going directly to the most extreme power. It is not stated enough that Canada is a great country. We have democratic government, equality, rule of law, some of the strongest human rights and environmental laws, a safe and civil society, job opportunities, social networks, civil liberties and freedoms.
    It is important that we protect these. They are the reason why so many people want to visit and move to Canada. People have fought for the freedoms and the country we call home. We need to ensure that we have laws to protect all these and the governing structures that uphold our laws.
    Prime Minister Mulroney saw the armed standoff in Oka. Gunfire was exchanged, and individuals tragically lost their lives. Prime Minister Chrétien saw the skies of the world close with 9/11 and the threat of terrorist violence at levels higher than any other time in our history. Prime Minister Harper saw the financial markets of the world collapse, and we saw the terror attack on Parliament Hill with a life lost.
    In January 2020, protesters blockaded the rail lines and highways that bring trade and provide rail passenger service in Canada from coast to coast. They were at a standstill for a month. They also shut down ferries off the coast of British Columbia. In 2020 and 2021, the coronavirus pandemic brought our health care system and our economy to their knees. Also in 2021, my province of British Columbia was devastated by floods, mudslides and wildfires, affecting tens of thousands of people.
    None of these crises brought any federal government of the day to invoke the federal Emergencies Act. To be clear, Conservatives have no issue with dialogue with Canadians seeking to protest peacefully, but that right to protest cannot include blockading infrastructure such as rail lines or border crossings. Free-flowing critical infrastructure is the law of this country and we must uphold it.
    The government has falsely insinuated that Conservatives have been inconsistent on this. The party that has been truly inconsistent has been the Liberal Party. During the extensive rail blockades of 2020, due to protests, the government sent delegations to talk to those involved. Law enforcement from many jurisdictions used the various tools and laws available to them to end the rail blockades.
    Just a few days ago, on February 17, reports of substantial damage surfaced on the Coastal GasLink Pipeline in B.C., an area that has seen protesters. There were attempts to set a vehicle on fire with workers in it; attackers wielding axes; flare guns fired at workers; cut hydraulic and fuel lines, which caused dangerous leaks; extensive damage to equipment and property; and people throwing smoke bombs at police.
    Where are the Liberals on this situation? The Prime Minister appointed a law-breaking professional protester as environment minister. Their hypocrisy could not be clearer. When the Prime Minister agrees with the message of a protest, he opens up dialogue and maybe even perhaps attends. When he does not, he name calls, scolds and demands his government be allowed the same powers as if we were at war.
    The words of the Liberal member for Louis-Hébert continue to ring true. When it comes to the Prime Minister's government, wedging, dividing and stigmatizing is the way the Liberals choose to act. The Prime Minister's recent false accusation that members of the House stood with a swastika is only the most recent example of callousness. His refusal to apologize shows how he continues to be committed to that path of division. It is so disappointing to see this from the Prime Minister.

  (1240)  

    There are many people who came here to Ottawa from across the country who are law-abiding and who are peacefully protesting, wanting to be heard, including from Kelowna—Lake Country. Canadians know that when it comes to hateful imagery, language, intimidation, injury or damage that those individuals need to be held accountable. Every member of the House denounces these situations, and there are laws to address it.
    The good news for Canadians is that our laws work and seem to be working, and protests have been peaceful. The border crossing at Coutts has been cleared, the Ambassador Bridge has been reopened, among others. Provincial governments and local police forces have been able to act with the laws of this Parliament, and those of the provincial and municipal governments across the country. Seven out of 10 provinces have come out against using the Emergencies Act.
    The order in council released by the government authorizes itself to impose “other temporary measures authorized under section 19 of the Emergencies Act that are not yet known.” What does that mean? Just trust the Prime Minister and give him ultimate authority with no oversight? It also states that the “emergency exists throughout Canada”. That is not true.
    The order in council also requires institutions to cease dealing with a designated person, defined as anyone associated with the protest. What does that mean? It is extremely vague. What if a person shared a tweet? It is being recorded that financial institutions are unclear what this entails. There appears to be broad discretion for the government.
    They are invoking the Emergencies Act, but, as a national emergency, this does not meet the threshold for its justification. The choice of this government to seek to use the powers of the Emergencies Act is not for lack of options. It is the result of a lack of leadership from this Prime Minister. His government has been left embarrassed and now seeks to break glass on the most severe law.
    Canadians are frustrated, and they are seeking hope. Conservatives tried to offer this government, just a week ago, the olive branch to do that. We put forth a motion calling on the government to light the way for the end of COVID-19 restrictions and mandates. We wanted the government to tell Canadians, 90% of whom are already vaccinated, and millions more boosted, the plan for when this will be over. Provinces are doing it, and other countries are doing it. We asked for a plan in our motion, and the Liberals and NDP refused to give one. They voted it down.
    My constituency office has never received so many emails and phone calls over the last two weeks. This are not form letters. Thousands of people from Kelowna—Lake Country, many who had never reached out to their member of Parliament before, are supporting the Conservative motion to have a plan to end the mandates, and they are not supporting the Emergencies Act invocation. Here is just a brief sample of their comments.
    “I used to be so proud to be Canadian...now I am not.”
    “I am an RCMP member, 13 years, and it saddens me to see what is happening in this country.”
    “I notice the Liberals are wanting to follow the money with the truckers blockage. I’m wondering if they are now willing to open up the WE contravene and follow the money in it?”
    “Three weeks of peaceful protest & zero willingness from the liberal gov't to listen to those upset & sick & tired of mandates.”
    “Under the Emergencies Act, Canada's financial institutions would be granted the power to freeze anyone's accounts without a court order. This IS most assuredly a brazen attack on our freedom of expression and cannot be tolerated. Enough is enough.”
    “If it’s ONLY a fringe minority, then why invoke the Emergencies Act?”
    “I'm a veteran of 20 years and right now I'm very disgusted to what is going on.”
    “This not the Canada I know.”
    The Liberals across the way are chirping at me, and they are laughing at the comments from my constituents in Kelowna—Lake Country. For people to consider for the next election, here is a quote from Prime Minister Harper, as retweeted by our current Prime Minister almost a decade ago. It says, “When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is when it's rapidly losing its moral authority to govern”.
    I have looked at this motion, done my research, listened to people and heard from my Kelowna—Lake Country constituents. I absolutely cannot support confirming the Emergencies Act.

  (1245)  

    Madam Speaker, I take great exception to the terminology that this member uses when she says phases like “these Liberals” and “those Liberals”. I can assure her that “these Conservatives” are nothing like “those Conservatives” of the past, like my predecessor Flora MacDonald, who actually introduced this bill into this House.
    The member referenced a lot of quotes, and I have a quote for her from Police Chief Steve Bell. He said, “Without the authorities that have been provided...through these pieces of legislation, we wouldn't be able to...work [together] today”.
    Can the member explain to us why she, coming from the party of law and order, somehow encourages the activity out there and will not take the word of the police chief running this?

  (1250)  

     Madam Speaker, the reason we are here today is the failure in leadership of the Prime Minister and the government. We continually asked what the steps were that they took to bring us to this point. Continually, we had no answers.
    What was the first step that they took? What was the second step? What was the third step? What was the fourth step?
    This is an extraordinary situation. We have been given no information about all of the steps that were taken by the federal government to bring us to this point. The first step could be to talk to and listen to people.
    There has been nothing done to bring us to this point today.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech.
    First, if I may, I would like to recognize the presence, courage, bravery and judgment of members of the various security forces who are on the ground in front of Parliament right now. My husband is a retired police officer and I can assure the House that it takes a lot of judgment and—
    I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member.

[English]

    Can I have order so we can hear the questions? Order.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands used an unparliamentary term, referring to another member as an “idiot”.
    I would like him to apologize.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands may respond.
    Madam Speaker, I am happy to apologize for that comment. It is true that I said that, and I apologize for it.
    However, I will recognize the fact that the member for Barrie—Innisfil said the same thing—
    We are not going to enter debate on this.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Beauport—Côte‑de‑Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix may continue her question.
    Madam Speaker, I commend the presence of the seven teams that are on the ground at this time.
    I would add that no one in Parliament deserves to be called an idiot.
    I have the following question for my colleague. The Prime Minister himself has said a number of times that the act would not apply where it is not needed. Since there are seven provinces, including Quebec, who do not need this legislation and do not want it applied, why does he want to apply it everywhere? What does the member think is the reason for this?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in reference to what just occurred, it is obvious that it is not only the Prime Minister who likes to call people names. It is a Liberal tactic.
    My answer the member's question is absolutely. Part of this act is that provinces have to be spoken to and have to be consulted, and they were. Clearly, they are overwhelmingly not in support of the Emergencies Act, with seven out of 10 provinces against it. That says something in itself. These are governments that have said that they do not believe this is needed at this time.
    What the Prime Minister has done is completely ignore that. He has gone his own way and has still moved forward with this.
    Qujannamiik, Uqaqtittiji. The Conservative messaging has been fuelling misinformation and has minimized clearly over-violent acts. The fact that they used the terrible examples of history, such as victims of the Holocaust, as a sword is deplorable.
    Misinformation of this magnitude leads to growing hatred and violence toward our communities, and it is wreaking havoc without consequence. Can the member answer why they continue to minimize the violence invoked by these extremists, whom they have posed with?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question and her intervention.
    On this side of the House, I am not familiar with anyone who has taken pictures with people waving swastikas and other things like that. That simply has not happened.
    We have to realize that, as I mentioned in my speech, there are people who have views and who have said and done things that are absolutely deplorable. We denounce them. That is not everyone who is involved.
    I have walked the streets here, talking to people who are teachers and who have had enough with children having such mental health problems that they cannot handle them anymore. There are people who have lost their jobs. They are everyday people—

  (1255)  

    We have to resume debate.
    The hon. member for Miramichi—Grand Lake.
    Madam Speaker, it is certainly a privilege today to speak on behalf of the people of Miramichi—Grand Lake.
    After 14 years of life in politics, this speech kept me up at night. It caused me to consider so many different angles of what is truly happening. It took me back to some travelling I did as a young adult. I travelled extensively in Italy and France, I lived in South Korea for a time, and I stayed in Rome for one month.
    While in Rome, I studied ancient history. We learned about the Emperor Nero. We learned about how, when Rome was burning in the year 64, he let the city go up in a blaze. Historians often pondered whether he played the fiddle while it was burning because he wanted to create a new palace amid the ashes. He blamed it on a small fringe minority of people called Christians. I learned that in ancient history.
    In the afternoon on that study trip, we studied modern Italy. I learned about how the Italians were so thankful to Canadians for being liberated during World War II. I attended a ceremony in Thierville, Normandy in 2011, and spoke on behalf of the Province of New Brunswick. I witnessed the tears in real time of the people who lived in Juno, of the first houses liberated, and the respect they have for Canadians to this very day.
    When I lived in South Korea, I was walking down the street late one night. I believe there was a 12-hour difference, and I was calling home. In the street, a drunken old man cursed me out because he did not like the sound of my voice. I was speaking English. What I realized later is that he thought I was American.
    Some friends of mine who are Korean walked up to the man. They told him to be kind to me and that I was Canadian. I did not understand the language they were speaking. The old fellow, who could barely walk as he was intoxicated, walked up to me and kissed me on the cheek. He called me a oegug-in, which is a Canadian to a South Korean, and thanked me in his language for what our ancestors and veterans did in the Korean conflict. It is not lost on me, the respect our country has around the world and how we achieved it.
    The question here today is an important one. We all believe in freedom. We all know how we achieved it. We have to ascertain what it means to each and every one of us. If people are listening in Miramichi—Grand Lake and watching today, I want to tell them that there is a difference between an emergency and an invocation of the Emergencies Act.
    The act used to be called the War Measures Act. It was brought in during World War I and World War II. It was also brought in by then prime minister Trudeau in 1970, in what then leader of the NDP, Tommy Douglas, called basically a gargantuan oversight by an inept government.
    This is the fourth time in our history. Now it is under the new name of the Emergencies Act. I need members to realize this act was not brought in for 9/11 under Prime Minister Chrétien. It was not brought in when Allan Legere, a serial killer, terrorized and horrified Miramichiers on a murdering rampage nobody in my community will ever forget. It was not brought in for the natural shale gas demonstrations on Route 11, which saw millions of dollars of seismic equipment destroyed and eight police cruisers bombed with molotov cocktails, while the people who managed the protest stood there with machine guns. When the RCMP was called to make it end, it ended abruptly. It did not end with what we used to call the War Measures Act. It did not end with what we now call the Emergencies Act.
    The fact is that I am vaccinated, as are my wife and kids. Many people I know are vaccinated, and many people I know are not vaccinated. I believe it is a personal choice to be vaccinated, and I do not believe the leader of the nation should vilify those who have made the personal choice not to be. I do not believe in that. I could never believe in that.
    For those following at home, today's speech is not about vaccinations. It is not even about mandates anymore. It is about whether we bring the Emergencies Act in to move protesters: dissenters of the Canadian public. I wonder about my own security. I walked through that every night for 14 days, in the dark and alone in temperatures of 20° to 30° below zero, without anyone escorting me. If this was a national crisis, who was protecting me?
    The only way to find a cab was through those unlawful people, as mainstream media would have us believe. They asked me if I wanted a cheeseburger. One of them asked me if I wanted to dance. I cannot make this stuff up. One does not have to agree with the protest. One does not have to agree with why they are doing it, but one needs to see that when bridges and rail routes and trade routes were blocked, the blockages were removed almost instantly.

  (1300)  

    How did that happen? How did all of these other issues that happened in our jurisdiction get solved? They got solved by decency. They got solved by prime ministers who did not run and hide inside their own houses while their country was in turmoil because of a crisis started by the Prime Minister himself.
    If my constituents are wondering about this, I did not run home to hide. I was one of the first members of Parliament to walk up to a transport and talk to some truck drivers. They were from Alberta. It was Saturday, January 29, before the convoy even hit Parliament Hill. Most of them were vaccinated. They were protesting for freedom. They believed their freedoms were being taken away.
    How did sitting on the back of a flatbed with a few truck drivers make me a racist, misogynist member of Parliament? How did the member for Thornhill, whose family experienced the Holocaust, get called a racist and a sympathizer?
    The Government of Canada has been labelling Canadians for many, many months. The Prime Minister has traumatized Canadians by using divisive language, using constant wedge issues, resulting in the outright stigmatization of the Canadian identity, and the Prime Minister will not apologize for the labelling that he has done. He has hurled insults at everybody who disagrees with him.
    The Prime Minister has used the following language and expressions to further traumatize Canadian citizens: These people. Unacceptable people. People who hold unacceptable views. Racists. Bigots. Terrorists. Misogynists, and people that take up space. People that take up space? I would like to think that all of us are allowed to take up a little bit of space in this country that we call Canada. The Prime Minister must wear the blame.
    I want to leave colleagues with something. We must value and uphold freedom of speech and the diversity of opinions. We all have a relative in our past who fought for the freedom we share today. They sacrificed for the right to have different opinions from government and to live free in that perspective. Dissenting voices are part of our democracy.
    I leave colleagues with the following