Impact of Court Ruling on Trudeau Government’s Use of Emergency Act Against 2022 Freedom Convoy
In a surprising turn of events, David Lametti, the ex-justice minister under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has made a swift exit from the political arena. This decision comes just two days after a court passed a verdict deeming the Trudeau government’s invocation of the Emergency Act (EA) against the 2022 Freedom Convoy as “unjustified.”
Lametti’s Resignation Amidst Legal Turmoil
On January 25, David Lametti, a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) and former justice minister, officially announced his resignation from Parliament. This abrupt departure followed the recent ruling by Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley, stating that the implementation of the EA to disband the 2022 Freedom Convoy was in violation of Charter rights.
In an interview with Radio-Canada, Lametti expressed, “The last six months have been very difficult,” and in a letter to his constituents, he conveyed the sorrow of leaving a position he considered a dream. Despite the challenges, he highlighted his commitment to fulfilling his duties as an MP during this tumultuous period.
Lametti’s Stint as Justice Minister
Having served as justice minister since 2019, Lametti played a pivotal role in enforcing the EA, aimed at quelling the 2022 Freedom Convoy protest that surged in Ottawa amidst COVID-related mandates. The protest, characterized by tens of thousands of Canadians demanding an end to mandates, involved camping outside Parliament Hill.
Measures enacted under the EA, including the freezing of bank accounts of protest supporters, were recently deemed unjustified by the court.
Legislative Contributions and Cabinet Shakeup
During his tenure, Lametti contributed to the passage of various bills, such as advocating for expanded euthanasia under Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) program and outlawing “conversion therapy” for gender-confused individuals.
In a substantial cabinet reshuffle in July 2023, Trudeau removed Lametti from the justice minister position, along with seven other individuals, including some unpopular COVID-era ministers. Despite this, Lametti continued to serve as the MP for LaSalle, Émard, Verdun regions in Quebec until his imminent resignation on January 31.
Conservative Party’s Response
Responding to Lametti’s departure, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre expressed strong sentiments, stating, “Trudeau’s former Justice Minister RESIGNS. He leaves behind him a record of Charter violations, censoring free speech, illegal use of the Emergencies Act & crime policies that have unleashed waves of violence.” Poilievre concluded, “More proof Trudeau is not worth the cost and crime.”
Unraveling Drama Within the Liberal Party
Lametti’s resignation is not the sole source of drama within the Liberal Party following the Emergencies Act ruling. Earlier in the week, Liberal MP Ken McDonald appeared to call for a review of Trudeau’s leadership, only to backtrack the following day.
In the wake of these developments, the political landscape in Canada is undoubtedly experiencing significant shifts, leaving room for speculation and anticipation regarding the future trajectory of both the Liberal Party and Canadian politics at large.