Why did Ottawa use the Emergencies Act? Federal lawyers will explain

Lawyers for the federal attorney general are set to elaborate today on the legal rationale for the historic use of the Emergencies Act to dispel “Freedom Convoy” protesters early last year.

The lawyers plan to spell out reasons the Federal Court should dismiss arguments from several groups and individuals who reject the Liberal government’s invocation of the emergency law.

Civil liberties and constitutional defence groups have told Justice Richard Mosley this week the government did not meet the legal threshold for resorting to the Emergencies Act.

The act allowed for temporary measures including prohibition of public assemblies, the designation of secure places, direction to banks to freeze assets and a ban on support for participants.

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The government says the extraordinary measures were targeted, proportional, time limited and compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Federal Court’s three-day review is slated to wrap up Wednesday.

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