Alberta Premier Jason Kenney removes his mask as he gives a COVID-19 update in Calgary, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta to proceed with Emergencies Act challenge despite it being lifted: Kenney

Alberta to proceed with Emergencies Act challenge despite it being lifted: Kenney

EDMONTON — Alberta will proceed in its request for a judicial review of the federal government’s use of the Emergencies Act against trucker convoy protests, Premier Jason Kenney said Wednesday.

Rising in the legislature to address what he called “one of the most obvious overreaches of government power in my lifetime,” Kenney said the fact the act was revoked earlier in the day is irrelevant.

“That does not change the profound concerns of Canadians, of Albertans and this assembly with this unnecessary, unjustified and disproportionate use of arbitrary police power in our lifetime with no good reason,” Kenney said.

Kenney said there never was an emergency that justified the act’s extraordinary powers.

He pointed out that the border blockade at Coutts, Alta., was cleared before the act was brought in. He said Ottawa police had plenty of laws that prevented semi-trailer rigs from being parked on the streets of downtown Ottawa.

“We had no shortage of law. What we had was a shortage of enforcement.”

On Twitter, Kenney called the lifting of the act a “humiliation” for those who supported it.

The Opposition NDP said the blockade at Coutts, which lasted more than two weeks, was a failure of the province’s United Conservative Party government to uphold the law.

“Promises of yet another trip to Federal Court are nothing more than Kenney trying to distract Albertans from the fact that two of his UCP MLAs actively encouraged that illegal blockade, which caused almost $800 million in damage to the Alberta economy, and included extremists who are alleged to have stockpiled weapons and conspired to murder police officers,” justice critic Irfan Sabir said in a statement.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association also said that it plans to pursue its court challenge of the Emergencies Act.

In a release, the association said it’s important for the courts to comment on the legal threshold and constitutional issues to guide the actions of future governments.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2022.

The Canadian Press