The Southwest Booster
Emergencies Act: Ahead of report release, half say Freedom Convoy protests were a threat to national security
Half say invoking the act was needed, others preferred alternate paths to resolution
As Justice Paul Rouleau puts the final touches on his report on the inquiry into the Liberal government’s use of the Emergencies Act early last year, Canadians continue to have their own debate on the topic.
A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds Canadians divided about one of the core issues concerning the Emergencies Act – whether the protests which it was invoked to clear met the definition of a threat to the security of Canada.
Half (51 per cent) say they believe that this threshold was met, including four-in-five past Liberal voters (81 per cent) and two-thirds of past NDP voters (68 per cent). Conversely, two-in-five (40 per cent) disagree, led by three-quarters of those who supported the Conservative Party in 2021 (73 per cent). Majorities in Alberta and Saskatchewan believe the threshold was not met, while majorities in every other region of the country disagree, and feel the protests presented a real national security threat.
That same division is noted on the government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. Half feel that this was ultimately the right call to bring about a resolution to the protests and occupations. That said, one-quarter (27 per cent) feel other means of resolution should have been pursued, and 15 per cent say nothing needed to be done at the time.
Rouleau will reportedly present his final report to cabinet on Feb. 6. Then cabinet will have until Feb. 20 to release the findings of the report.
More Key Findings:
- Public opinion has moved in favour of the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act. The percentage of Canadians saying it was the right call increased four points between May and December, while the percentage saying it was unnecessary dropped by seven.
- Men between the ages of 35 and 54 are the only age and gender grouping to say at a majority level (56 per cent) that the protests were not a threat to national security. Women over the age of 54 are most likely to say that they indeed were (63 per cent).
The full poll can be viewed online at https://angusreid.org/emergencies-act-inquiry-freedom-convoy-trudeau-poilievre/