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Document Shows Ottawa’s Expenditure of $73 Million on Utilizing Emergencies Act

Ottawa spent over $73 million to enact emergency powers in response to the Freedom Convoy protests, according to government documents.

The figure was disclosed in response to an Inquiry of Ministry filed by Conservative MP Ziad Aboultaif, who asked how much the government spent overall on invoking the Emergencies Act to quell the Convoy protest in early 2022.

The total amount spent to date on the Emergencies Act was $73,550,568, with the majority of expenses going toward local authorities in the cities of Ottawa and Windsor, Public Safety Canada said in their response, which was first obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter. Costs associated with fiscal year 2023-2024 are “still to be determined,” the document said.

“It should also be noted that the additional funding allocated by the government to Ottawa and its partners as well as Windsor were not specifically a result of the Emergencies Act invocation, but meant to compensate both municipalities for the extraordinary expenses incurred during and after the protracted blockades,” Public Safety Canada said in the Inquiry document.

The Windsor blockade, which saw the Ambassador Bridge blocked by trucks for six days, was cleared on Feb. 13 following a court order. This came a day prior to the invoking of the Emergencies Act by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Feb. 14. The invocation of the act ended less than ten days later on Feb. 23.

The RCMP played a lead role in shutting down the Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa, which was launched to oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers but evolved into a larger movement against government COVID-19 mandates and restrictions. The federal government spent at least $400,000 on charter flights and an additional $1.3 million on hotel rooms to accommodate out-of-town officers, the document said.

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Feds Spent $2.2 Million to Defend Against Emergencies Act Lawsuit

Emergencies Act: Federal Court Rules Invocation Against Freedom Convoy ‘Unreasonable,’ Unjustified

The federal government laster spent $17.5 million on the judicial inquiry into the use of the act, as required by the legislation.

The inquiry found that the government was justified in using the Emergencies Act but claimed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government could have handled the situation better, highlighting Mr. Trudeau’s language toward protestors.

Mr. Trudeau later stated he regretted calling Freedom Convoy protesters a “small fringe minority” and said, “I wish I had phrased it differently.”

In January, a federal judge ruled that the use of the Emergencies Act was “not justified in relation to the relevant factual and legal constraints,” required by the act.

Justice Richard Mosley stated that while the Freedom Convoy protestors had inflicted “very real harm” to the Canadian economy through border blockades, “the record does not support a conclusion that the Convoy had created a critical, urgent and temporary situation that was national in scope and could not effectively be dealt with under any other law of Canada.”
The federal government has appealed the ruling, calling on the Federal Court of Appeal to overturn Justice Mosley’s ruling.
The federal government has already spent $2.2 million in legal fees responding to a lawsuit by four associations who are seeking damages due to the invocation of the Emergencies Act.

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