Statement on Emergencies Act Motion Vote


For Immediate Release

February 21, 2022

Ottawa, ON– Mel Arnold, Member of Parliament for North Okanagan-Shuswap, released the following statement today following the vote in the House of Commons that confirmed the federal government’s February 14 declaration of a public order emergency under the Emergencies Act:

“Today, I voted against the federal government’s unnecessary and divisive invocation of the Emergencies Act that the government has used to bestow unprecedented powers on itself without even providing a date or conditions for rescinding the powers.

“Section 16 of the act clearly reserves its powers for countering ‘an emergency that arises from threats to the security of Canada and that is so serious as to be a national emergency.’

“Since invocation of the Emergencies Act on February 14th, the government has failed to justify their activation of unprecedented and sweeping powers and failed to explain why they have chosen to use powers of last resort as their first resort.

“Today, the Prime Minister was pressed by reporters and Conservatives on what specific power of the Emergencies Act is necessary and he cited the power to compel tow truck drivers to tow illegally parked vehicles.

“Tow truck drivers have been compelled, illegally parked vehicles have been towed and blockades have been resolved and yet the Prime Minister insists on clinging to emergency powers.

“Today, the Prime Minister suddenly suggested that the House of Commons vote was a confidence vote capable of triggering a second unnecessary election in less than a year.

“Canadians do not need another election, nor do they need government overreach- they need leadership and a plan to guide Canada out of the crises we must overcome, together.

“Immediately after today’s vote, Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen tabled a motion calling on the House to revoke the government’s use of the Emergencies Act.

“As I stated in the House of Commons yesterday, Canadians are looking to Parliament for the leadership required to start healing divisions and focus on the questions that must be answered for the government to produce a plan for recovery.

“I will continue to oppose the government’s unnecessary and divisive overreach under the Emergencies Act and press for leadership and a plan that Canadians can have confidence in to rebuild unity and set Canada on the path to recovery.”