Conservative leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre said he was consulting with legal experts to find a way to “limit” the federal emergency bill to prevent it from being used for “political purposes” such as during the Freedom Motorcade protests in Ottawa .
“I’m consulting with legal scholars on how we can cut powers and limit the use of the Emergency Act in the future,” Poilievre said during an hour-and-a-half conversation with media personalities and former University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson Monday. Upload to social media.
“But I do think we need to make changes to the bill to prevent it from being misused for political purposes like this again,” he added.
Poilievre was referring to how Justin Trudeau’s Liberals controversially invoked the Emergencies Act in February to give the government and police forces new and special powers to lift the closure of some U.S. border crossings and block several downtown Ottawa streets. Week’s “Freedom Convoy” blockade. .
The bill allows police to force tow truck operators away from blocked vehicles, but also gives the government the ability to freeze financial accounts associated with fleet participants.
The bill was withdrawn nine days later after a three-day police operation cleared the streets of Ottawa and resulted in hundreds of arrests. The city’s police chief has repeatedly said the protests were “illegal” and amounted to a “siege” of the capital.
The Liberals have since argued they have no choice but to use their powers to end the lockdown, which they say is costing the economy $390 million a day in trade losses.
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But critics, including civil liberties groups, pundits and opposition parties such as the Conservatives, have accused the Liberals of overstepping the line and citing the act of using excessive force.
In conversations with Peterson, Poliyev accused Trudeau of invoking the bill because he was “angry” at being personally targeted by protesters and wanted to avoid facing “the political consequences of democratic protests.”
“He also wanted to prevent any similar protests as maliciously as possible,” Poilievre said.
The Conservative MP did not elaborate on how an eventual Poilievre government would limit the Emergencies Act, but insisted caution must be exercised because he does see the purpose of the powers in some extreme cases.
“I want to do it very carefully because, you know, it’s a very blunt instrument. But in times of war where there’s a foreign attack or something like that, you can see why these powers might be needed sometimes,” he told Peter Sen.
“You would think it would be used in the case of a foreign invasion, a horrific terrorist attack, or something like that,” he added.
This is far from the only attack on Trudeau and his government by Poilievre in a wide-ranging interview covering issues of freedom, media funding and more.
Poilievre called Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault a “complete lunatic” and a “madman”, accusing him of being against nuclear power and oil and gas.
When Peterson asked him what he thought of the prime minister, Polyyev immediately called Trudeau an “egotistical man” who took power from individuals or families and turned it over to the government.
He also likened Trudeau to King Louis XIV of France, who ruled for more than 70 years and was known for his thirst for power.
“I think he’s a megalomaniac, and I think everything he does goes back to his megalomaniac,” Poilievre said. “If you really think about his expansionist role to the country, it’s never going to go back to serving personal goals other than making him stronger or his legacy bigger.”
“He believed that the state must always be everywhere. That’s because, as King Louis said, ‘L’État c’est moi’,” he added. “The country is him.”