Rand Paul denounces Trudeau's 'dangerous' Emergencies Act, warns of similar US laws

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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the Emergencies Act that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently invoked to quell the trucker convoy protests is “very, very dangerous” and warned against similar legislation that exists in the United States.

“I think statutes that allow presidents or heads of state to invoke emergencies are very, very dangerous,” said Paul during an episode of the BASED Politics podcast that aired Sunday. “We have the same sort of statutes here, and I have long-time been an opponent of these. We actually have in the United States an Emergency Act that allows the president to shut down the internet.”

Several Canadian civil liberties groups have also spoken out against Trudeau after he invoked the Emergencies Act to cut off funding for “Freedom Convoy” truckers, freeze their bank accounts and crack down on the lingering demonstrations in Ottawa. The trucker protest has been largely cleared from the Canadian capital, but Trudeau has not yet relaxed the state of emergency.

Paul explained how he failed in his attempt to corral anti-Trump Democrats into an alliance with libertarian-leaning Republicans to strike down such emergency power legislation during the Trump administration.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives for a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to  examine the federal response to COVID-19 and new emerging variants on Jan. 11, 2022, at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
(GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

“[Sen.] Mike Lee had some reforms that he put forward on the Emergency Act, and it’s something we should look at, because these things go on and on,” Paul continued. “There are some emergencies in the U.S. that have been going on for many, many decades. And the president can just renew them every year. There’s no real stopping him.”

Paul pointed out how he tweeted on Feb. 16 that Canada had become Egypt, where Paul said President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has repeatedly extended emergency powers and arbitrarily detained people.

“And so the emergency edict that Trudeau has done in Canada allows him to do some horrendous things, allows him to stop travel allows him to detain people without trial. Now we don’t know that he’s going to do that, but it is very, very worrisome what he might do,” Paul added.

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.
(David Kawai/Bloomberg)

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association said the truckers’ protests did not meet the standard for Trudeau to have invoked the Emergencies Act, which exists for “the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada” and only for actions that “cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.” 

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