Saskatchewan MP’s receive thousands of messages following Emergencies Act

Found on: BattlefordsNOW

While news swirls in the nation’s capital, Saskatchewan Members of Parliament are likely to continue to voice opposition to the federal government over its implementation of the Emergencies Act.

Gary Vidal, MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River in the Meadow Lake region, said it’s been an overwhelming week between the extended sitting of the House of Commons where he delivered a speech to address concerns over the act. He said he’s received thousands of emails alone, on top of letters, texts and phone calls, from people feeling a combination of “anxiety, fear and anger.”

“I’ve interacted with a lot of people who are terrified of this overreach,” Vidal said.

MP Gary Vidal’s speech during the debate on the Emergencies Act. Comments stating the PM’s invoking of the act is unjustified can be found at 5:00.

Vidal said this was frustrating, given the record of NDP politicians in the past who have stood against government overreach. He cited the example of Tommy Douglas’ opposition to the War Measures Act during the October Crisis of 1970, stating that the trucker’s convoy pales in comparison to that situation.

“That was one of the really disappointing things so far, that those members chose to support this.”

One of the biggest fears Vidal said he’s heard from people is the freezing of bank accounts, with some reportedly going as far as withdrawing their accounts. He added that some of this stems from Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland making comments that have cast some doubt on the Prime Minister’s promise for brief, proportionate use of the measures.

“She talked about her desire to make some of these permanent and these are the financial ones,” Vidal said. “We had the Minister of Justice admitting they were looking to punish political opponents. That’s a pretty scary place for our country.”

“There’s an incongruity between what’s being said by some and what’s said by others, which is leading to a complete lack of trust and a lot of fear for people.”

Vidal suggested that in addition to contacting their local MP, residents should reach out to Liberal and NDP MP’s as well.

“Encourage them to reconsider their position on this, because that’s ultimately going to make the difference in the end,” he said.

“I’m going to continue to fight for an end to these things, because I do not believe they are the right way for our country to go.”

Falk stresses need for communication

Following the adjournment of the House, Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergin gave a notice of motion to have the Emergencies Act come to another debate and vote, which will require at least 20 members. The Battlefords—Lloydminster MP Rosemarie Falk said there’s also been an attempt to meet with the other party leaders.

“If you’re saying that this protest is a national security risk, meet with all of us so that we can resolve this and have a plan going forward,” she said.

Falk shared similar experiences to Vidal of thousands of people reaching out with concerns. She opined that Trudeau’s rhetoric since before the Truckers Convoy made it to Ottawa helped drive the situation.

“It’s almost like playground bullying instead of having a conversation,” she said. “It’s too bad he wouldn’t even put out an olive branch to talk with some of these protestors.”

PM Trudeau has criticized the Conservative Party with using politically charged rhetoric on their end and in a heated exchange last week, accused MP’s of standing with “people who wave swastikas.”

Falk said she encourages constituents to continue reaching out regarding this matter.

“In the days to come, we will be relentless in continuing to fight against these measures.”