Emergency/ Crisis Management

Oath Keepers leaders guilty of sedition

Stewart Rhodes, founder and national head of the Oath Keepers militia and a key figure in the January 2021 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, was found guilty by a federal jury in Washington today of seditious conspiracy along with Kelly Meggs leader of the militia’s Florida chapter. Both face up to 20 years in prison. They also were found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding, namely congressional certification of the November 2020 presidential election results. Three co-defendants were found guilty of the latter charge only. [node:read-more:link]

Stage set for constitutional confrontation

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith introduced her draft Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act today, a proposal she says will enable her cabinet to direct cities, police, health authorities, universities and other entities to ignore federal laws her government believes would be unconstitutional or harmful to the province. The bill does not define “harm” and legal scholars have panned the idea as unconstitutional and it has been divisive within Smith’s own party. [node:read-more:link]

Legal privilege argument defended

The federal government’s reliance on “client-solicitor privilege” to prevent access to cabinet decisions which could provide insight into the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act was challenged today by a constitutional lawyer who argued that it was “in the interest of transparency.” When he put the question to Prime Minister Trudeau, who did not immediately respond, a government lawyer interjected that privilege is “a very substantial right in our legal system.” [node:read-more:link]

Emergencies Act a “tough call”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the Emergencies Act inquiry today that his decision to invoke the legislation to end “freedom” protests last February stemmed from a concern about what might happen if he didn’t. “This was a moment where the collective advice of cabinet, of the public service, and my own inclination, was that this was a moment to do something . . . to keep Canadians safe.” [node:read-more:link]

Convoy lawyer sued for defamation

Brendan Miller, the Alberta lawyer representing a group of “Freedom Convoy” protestors before the Emergencies Act inquiry, is being sued for defamation over his claim that Brian Fox, a partner in a public relations firm carried a Nazi flag into the Ottawa blockade in February in an attempt to discredit the protestors. Miller tried to dismiss the suit November 24 as “intimidation” but Fox, who has received death threats, was not even in Ottawa when the alleged incident occurred. [node:read-more:link]

Freeland testifies at convoy inquiry

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said today that an “exponential” economic threat posed by border blockades last February was a key factor in the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act.  She told the inquiry into the government’s decision that Canada was already facing several serious economic challenges when the situation erupted, including supply-chain problems and U.S. protectionism. [node:read-more:link]

Federal support for climate impact

An additional $1.6 billion in long-term support for communities facing the weather-related effects of climate change is a key element of a new federal adaptation strategy announced today by Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair. The funding mostly tops up existing programs but not major capital projects. [node:read-more:link]

Government invokes solicitor-client privilege

Justice Minister David Lametti today defended the government's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to deal with anti-vaccination protests last winter, but he declined to go into detail on the legal opinion the government received. He was testifying before the commission of inquiry into the decision, but a government had given notice that the minister would refuse to answer “all questions that would delve into areas of solicitor-client privilege.” [node:read-more:link]

Mendicino says lives were at risk

The RCMP warned Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino during last winter’s “freedom” border blockade in southern Alberta that some protestors were willing “to go down with the cause.” He told the Emergencies Act inquiry today that it was “a threshold moment for me” as the government considered invoking the legislation because “lives literally hung in the balance.” [node:read-more:link]

Indonesian earthquake toll climbs

An earthquake in Indonesia's West Java killed at least 268 people, many of them children, with 151 still missing, disaster relief officials said today. While earthquakes of magnitude 6 or 7 are relatively common in Indonesia and occur mostly at depth along offshore fault lines, the latest, registered at 5.6, occurred at a relatively shallow depth in the densely-populated area. [node:read-more:link]

Emergencies Act had CSIS support

The federal government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to deal with “freedom” protests in Ottawa and at two border crossings last February was supported by Canadian Security Intelligence Director David Vigneault. Testifying today before commission of inquiry into the decision, he said that while the blockades did not meet the agency’s technical definition of a national security threat, he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the evolving situation “required” action. [node:read-more:link]

Ukrainian nuclear plant under fire

Parts of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear station in Ukraine were damaged today by artillery fire and both countries blamed each others’ forces. “As I have said many times before, you're playing with fire,” said Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, called for an immediate ceasefire. [node:read-more:link]

CBSA received PM death threat

The Canada Border Services Agency received a death threat against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and inquiries about how to import bullets during last winter's “Freedom Convoy.” Former CBSA President John Ossowski told the Emergencies Act inquiry November 16 that the threats showed up on its online “contact us” form. [node:read-more:link]

RCMP Commissioner at Convoy inquiry

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki testified today at the inquiry into the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act last February that some federal politicians and bureaucrats were frustrated by what they perceived to be the Ottawa Police Service’s inability to deal with the “Freedom Convoy” blockade. [node:read-more:link]

CSIS saw no convoy security risk

A day before it invoked the Emergencies Act last winter to end the “Freedom Convoy” blockade of downtown Ottawa, the government was told by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service that the protest was not a threat to national security. Nor, according to CSIS documents released today by the public inquiry into the government’s action, was the protest supported by foreign state interests. [node:read-more:link]


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