Just hours before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Emergencies Act would be revoked, the Saskatchewan NDP joined their political opponent in criticizing the way the legislation was implemented.
“Our police forces have the tools they need to address these issues and they did so effectively and proactively and for that reason we don’t see it as necessary in this province,” said NDP Deputy Leader Nicole Sarauer Wednesday of the relatively short-lived and undisruptive protests that occurred in Saskatchewan.
“Section 19, step two of the Emergencies Act, would have allowed it to be applied in specific regions of Canada, and we feel that the federal government should have explored that as an option.”
Earlier this week, before the legislation was revoked, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe indicated he was open to the idea of Saskatchewan challenging the invocation in court.
Asked about potential NDP support for such a manoeuvre, Sarauer didn’t offer a concrete yes or no but suggested a court challenge might have merit.
“Absolutely there’s some worry and we think that perhaps a court challenge can provide some more clarity as to whether this was the appropriate time to use it and how it can be used better in the future,” she said prior to Trudeau’s Wednesday afternoon news conference.
After Trudeau’s announcement, politicians in Saskatchewan and abroad were quick to offer reaction.
Scott Moe said in a statement, “the federal government revoking the Emergencies Act is the right thing to do, because it should not have been invoked in the first place.
“Law enforcement agencies already had all the tools they needed to stop illegal activity, and we are thankful for the men and women in uniform who work to keep Canadians safe every day. Now, with a clear end to the use of the Emergencies Act, it is time for a clear end to mandates and restrictions.
“It is past time for the Trudeau government to detail a return to normal for all Canadians.”
Sarauer added in a statement after the announcement that “It’s important to remember that this first use of the Emergencies Act is precedent-setting and will have implications moving forward.”
“We have a duty to not only examine the current circumstances but also to examine the potential future circumstances of this legislation.”
She doubled down on the assertion that the federal government should have narrowed the areas affected by the legislation but added, “by no means does that mean that any illegal actions taken should go unchecked and any illegal action should be properly prosecuted.”