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Quebec's National Assembly officially rejects use of Emergencies Act

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Quebec's National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion Tuesday calling on the Canadian government not to apply the Emergencies Act on Quebec territory.

The motion was presented in the Salon Bleu by Québec Solidaire (QS) parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. It was adopted unanimously without debate.

Nadeau-Dubois explained in a news briefing that he was concerned about the situation in Ontario and around certain border crossings, but that currently, in Quebec, there was no justification for applying the Emergencies Act.

"Lawyers often refer to this law as a legislative nuclear option. At the moment, there is no objective situation on Quebec territory that justifies the use of this weapon," he said.

The motion states that the National Assembly "is concerned about the current disturbances" but "there is no emergency situation that currently justifies the use of special legislative measures in Quebec."

It, thus, asks the Canadian government not to apply the Emergencies Act on Quebec territory.

However, the National Assembly "reiterates the importance of close cooperation between the federal government and the government of Quebec, particularly to ensure the peace and security of the citizens of the Outaouais."

QS house leader Christine Labrie asked that a copy of the motion be sent to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Nadeau-Dubois later said he was pleased to see the parties represented in the National Assembly speak with one voice.

"It sends a clear message to Justin Trudeau," he said.

Trudeau announced Monday that he was invoking the Emergencies Act, a first, to end the gridlock in downtown Ottawa.

He said that its use will be limited in time.

Before Trudeau made the announcement, Quebec Premier François Legault said in a news conference that he was categorically opposed.

Legault acknowledged, however, that he does not have the power to stop Ottawa from imposing its Emergencies Act in Quebec.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 15, 2022. 

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