Freedom for All?

Lance Corporal Alexander Antoniuk, February 19, 1924 — December 31, 1944

Enlisted: March 2, 1942 in Edmonton, Alberta. He served in the military with 4th Princess Louise Dragoon Guards, R.C.I.C. He body lies in the Villanova Canadian War Cemetery in Italy. He fought for freedom; for the freedom to voice an opinion without being attacked with name calling or shaming, the freedom for a citizen to refuse an experimental treatment without being coerced or pressured into taking it, and the freedom from censorship and government overreach. The people who have followed every mandate cannot understand why some of us think some of our freedoms are gone, but I ask those people, with respect and love , how would you know some of your freedoms are gone unless you use them? Put the shoe on the other foot for a moment, what if you used your freedom of choice to reject a brand new medical treatment, and for that you lost the freedom to travel, to eat in a restaurant, to go to a movie theatre, and perhaps even lose your job. Would you notice your freedoms gone then?

Earlier this week, the federal government invoked the Emergencies Act (formerly known as the War Measures Act) for the first time since 1970.

As a reminder, the War Measures Act was invoked in 1970 because the Quebec nationalist group, Front de libération du Québec, set off over 200 bombs across Quebec, kidnapped a British diplomat, and kidnapped and murdered the Deputy Premier of Quebec, Pierre Laporte.

We highlight this most recent usage of the War Measures Act to explain the extremely high bar required to invoke this massive expansion in government powers, and even then its usage was opposed by the NDP on civil liberties grounds.

Since 1970, Canada has faced many crises in many different forms.

The Emergencies / War Measure Act was not used to resolve the Oka Crisis, a series of protests where multiple deaths and hundreds of injuries occurred, the Calendonia land dispute, the extended blockade of pipelines and railways in 2020 and 2021, the September 11th attacks, or even the COVID-19 pandemic itself.

This is because the Emergencies / War Measures Act contains extremely strict rules about when it may be used.

Just one of these many restrictions says that a crisis must “exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it” before the federal government may step in and take over.

The crisis must also be of a nationwide nature, not restricted to just a small geographic area.

Given all the border blockades across the country were handled and ended by provincial governments before the federal government even invoked the Act, and the only remaining protest is the one in his own backyard in Ottawa, the current protest clearly fails to meet this criteria.

If you are in agreement, you can sign this petition.

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