Getson: Why the War Measures Act Erodes Our Freedoms
We are fortunate to have a very fulsome, yet simple charter of rights in our country, and elegant document that all can read and understand. Our charter of rights, the constitution as it were is not very old, so it still should be fresh in everyone’s mind. The same can be said about the Emergency Measures Act, which was amended in 1988 I believe, before that it was called the WAR Measures act.
WAR / Emergency Measures: Like the constitution, which defines the principals and rights we have in Canada, the emergency measures act is only to be used under the direst circumstances…like well, a war or in the case of PM Elliot Trudeau when a domestic terrorist group, known as the FLQ kidnapped a foreign ambassador (James Cross), and murdered a Quebec cabinet minister (Pierre LaPorte). Some say that the circumstances there didn’t even warrant the act being invoked, but it was limited in time, and
location to end very quickly a violent situation.
The preamble of the act below, the Coles notes version as it were, something that the current PM should have read states the purpose, and how in general terms the act should be used. Here it is so you can read for yourself:
WHEREAS the safety and security of the individual, the protection of the values of the body politic and the preservation of the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the state are fundamental obligations of government.
AND WHEREAS the fulfilment of those obligations in Canada may be seriously threatened by a national emergency and, to ensure safety and security during such an emergency, the Governor in Council should be authorized, subject to the supervision of Parliament, to take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times.
AND WHEREAS the Governor in Council, in taking such special temporary measures, would be subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Bill of Rights and must have regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, particularly with respect to those fundamental rights that are not to be limited or abridged even in a national emergency.
So herein lies the rub. I honestly believe that neither the founding fathers of our country, nor those that create the laws, especially the constitution, the War Measures Act, or the Emergency Measures Act for that matter could have conceived that we would have such an underqualified Prime Minister that would be elected. Moreover, that there would be checks and balances in place, that would not allow only foolhardy actions but reckless abandon when it comes to rights and freedoms.
I’ll ask all of you to help me to put this to an end, I fear that we are going to have a stain on our country’s history at this point, but there also have been so many good things that have come out of the last three weeks. We have seen many of the leaders for what they are. We have seen the best and the worst of ourselves along the way as well. What I am asking you is this.
Stop talking about vaccines and masks. Let people have their privacy back, and respect their choices, even if they were not the same you would have made. We are at the end of this. Let’s take the time to like each other again, there have been so many new names and labels invented that are hurtful, let them go, its not worth losing your soul over, and it sure as heck not worth losing our country over. We are way stronger together, then what we are being driven apart.