Local Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Eric Duncan issued the following statement:
“This week, the Prime Minister invoked the Emergencies Act, declaring a public order emergency. It is unfortunate that the situation has intensified to this stage. I am very frustrated at the level of anger and tension in our country right now. The actions taken, or lack thereof, by the Prime Minister over the past few weeks has made the situation worse.
I have always supported Canadians right to peaceful protest, it is a fundamental right in a democracy and that must be upheld. However, I agree that the blockades of roads, critical infrastructure and obstruction of our borders should not be permitted. The precedence to continue to allow those continued actions are not good for our political discourse.
Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has made no efforts to de-escalate the situation before taking the unprecedented step of imposing powers of the Emergencies Act. The Emergencies Act was not needed to settle the rail blockades of 2020, the Oka crisis, the crisis at Caledonia, September 11, the COVID-19 pandemic or any other dispute in Canadian history.
It is also important to note that the illegal blockades at the Ambassador Bridge and the Coutts Port of Entry in Alberta occurred prior to the Emergencies Act being invoked and have been addressed without federal help. I have confidence that law enforcement can use their existing resources to address the situation in Ottawa.
The invocation of this Act sets a dangerous precedent. As such, I will be voting against the Emergencies Act, along with my Conservative colleagues. I want to get these blockades ended. I want our country to reopen and get back to normal. Those do not have to be two opposing goals. It is beyond frustrating that we find ourselves at this point when, thankfully, data and public health advice is suggesting we can get back to normal by learning to live with COVID and not living in fear.”