Policy Options Series on the Emergencies Act

Policy Options is running a series — Lessons from the Rouleau Commission — prompted by the report of the Rouleau Commission into the invocation of the Emergencies Act in February 2022.

My contribution, entitled “Legal tussling over the Emergencies Act is far from over”, can be found here.

Here are the introductory paragraphs:

The honking trucks, blaring megaphones, blocked-off streets and general sense of disorder around Parliament Hill during the convoy protests may be long behind us. But Canada’s legal community is just getting started on the Trudeau government’s use of the Emergencies Act to end that in February 2022. Even though the Rouleau Commission concluded that the government met the high threshold for invoking the act, whether the declaration of a public emergency was lawful is a question that is likely to occupy the courts for several years yet.

In early April, Justice Richard Mosley of the Federal Court heard arguments about whether the emergency declaration was consistent with administrative law principles and whether the measures enacted under the authority of the declaration were consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights. Several individuals and groups, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Constitution Foundation, challenged the lawfulness of the emergency declaration and associated measures.

The other contributions by Professors Champagne, Lazar, MacDonnell and Mathen build on their contributions to a conference organized earlier this year by the Centre on Governance and the Centre for Public Law at the University of Ottawa.

This content has been updated on May 31, 2023 at 18:10.