Mel Arnold, Member of Parliament for North Okanagan-Shuswap, released the following statement following Monday’s vote in the House of Commons that confirmed the federal government’s Feb. 14 declaration of a public order emergency under the Emergencies Act.
“I voted against the federal government’s unnecessary and divisive invocation of the Emergencies Act that the government has used to bestow unprecedented powers on itself without even providing a date or conditions for rescinding the powers.
“Section 16 of the act clearly reserves its powers for countering ‘an emergency that arises from threats to the security of Canada and that is so serious as to be a national emergency.’”
Since invocation of the act, Arnold said the government has failed to justify the “activation of unprecedented and sweeping powers and failed to explain why they have chosen to use powers of last resort as their first resort.”
The Emergencies Act was used to compel tow truck drivers to tow illegally parked vehicles. But during a Feb. 21 press conference prior to the vote, Arnold said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suddenly suggested that it was a confidence vote capable of triggering a second election in less than a year.
“Canadians do not need another election, nor do they need government overreach- they need leadership and a plan to guide Canada out of the crises we must overcome, together,” said Arnold.
Immediately after the vote, Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen tabled a motion calling on the House to revoke the government’s use of the Emergencies Act.
“Canadians are looking to Parliament for the leadership required to start healing divisions and focus on the questions that must be answered for the government to produce a plan for recovery,” Arnold said.
“I will continue to oppose the government’s unnecessary and divisive overreach under the Emergencies Act and press for leadership and a plan that Canadians can have confidence in to rebuild unity and set Canada on the path to recovery.”