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Home News Sask. Party and provincial NDP welcome federal decision to revoke Emergencies Act

Sask. Party and provincial NDP welcome federal decision to revoke Emergencies Act

Sask. Party and provincial NDP welcome federal decision to revoke Emergencies Act
(File photo/Jayda Taylor)

Both the provincial government and opposition NDP welcomed the federal government’s decision to revoke the Emergencies Act on Wednesday, but also expressed concerns about what their use means for the future.

The two parties also traded statement’s urging the other to look out for the best interests of their constituents and stop playing partisan politics.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revoked the act Wednesday afternoon, saying the situation no longer required it. Provincial NDP deputy leader Nicole Sarauer responded with a statement a few hours later saying illegal actions should be properly prosecuted, but there was no evidence the Emergencies Act was necessary to do so.

“This first use of the Emergencies Act is precedent-setting and will have implications moving forward,” Sarauer’s statement reads. “We have a duty to not only examine the current circumstances but also to examine the potential future circumstances of this legislation.

“Here in Saskatchewan, our law enforcement clearly had the tools needed to address illegal actions that stemmed from this protest and as such, we did not support its usage in Saskatchewan.”

Sarauer said the federal government should have applied the act to specific regions instead of the country as a whole, something she said is allowed under Section 19.

Premier Scott Moe released a statement of his own supporting the federal government’s decision, but like Sarauer, said it was unnecessary in the first place.

“The federal government revoking the Emergencies Act is the right thing to do, because it should not have been invoked in the first place,” Moe’s statement reads. “Law enforcement agencies already had all the tools they needed to stop illegal activities.”

Moe also thanked police for their efforts, and called on the Prime Minister to follow up by ending all mandates and restrictions.

“It is past time for the Trudeau government to detail a return to normal for all Canadians,” the statement reads.

Provincial Justice Minister Gord Wyant released his own statement welcoming the NDP’s opposition to using the Emergencies Act. However, Wyant also called on the provincial NDP to raise the issue with their federal counterparts, who he blamed for getting the Act passed in the first place.

Sarauer said NDP MLAs were elected to represent the people of Saskatchewan, not push a political agenda. She also accused the Sask. Party of taking “political marching orders from their federal counterparts in Ottawa” instead of representing the people who elected them.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) also welcomed the government’s decision to revoke the act, calling it long overdue. However, CCLA Director of Criminal Justice Abby Deshman said they still believe the government’s decision did not meet the legal thresholds set out in the Act, making the orders passed under the legislation unconstitutional.

“Even though the orders are no longer in force, Canadians are left with the precedent that the government’s actions have set,” Deshman said.

The CCLA announced their plans to fight the Emergencies Act in court a week ago. On Wednesday, Deshman said they would consult with counsel over the next few days to determine their next step, but still plan to continue the case.

The provincial government said on Tuesday they had not ruled out challenging the Act in court. On Wednesday, Wyant said the province continues to evaluate its legal options, with a final decision expected in the coming days.