Event Details

Lecture Series: After the Convoy

One year after the Freedom Convoy brought Ottawa to a standstill, this lecture series reflects on the legal and constitutional implications of the government's response. In particular, lectures will focus on the legality of the federal government's decision to invoke the Emergencies Act, the government's compliance or non-compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the information that was gleaned from the hearings of the Public Order Emergency Commission.

Register Here: https://bit.ly/3WZChBt


Cara Zwibel (Director, Fundamental Freedoms Program, CCLA)

Debrief: The Convoy, the Commission, and the Charter
Several weeks after the "Freedom Convoy" began its occupation of Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time since its inception. This subsequently led to the establishment of the Public Order Emergency Commission in April 2022, which was tasked with determining whether the invocation of the Act and the measures adopted under it were legally justifiable. After six weeks of hearings and in advance of the Commission's report, Cara Zwibel (Director, Fundamental Freedoms Program, CCLA) will provide a debrief of the Commission's work, and the legal and constitutional implications of the government's response to the Convoy.

Nomi Claire Lazar (Professor, University of Ottawa)

The Concept of Necessity in Canada's Emergencies Act
The concept of necessity has always been central to claims of emergency power. But the novel design of Canada’s Emergencies Act – which brings emergency power under the rule of law – means necessity functions in novel ways too. Drawing out key sources of necessity’s inherent ambiguity, this lecture will develop a set of heuristic tools to clarify claims of necessity. Because these are key elements of the Act’s thresholds, the heuristics I propose may assist both future decision makers and those tasked with holding them to account.

Jamie Cameron (Professor Emerita, Osgoode Hall Law School)

Freedom of Assembly and Section 2(c) of the Charter
Those who participated in the 2022 protest convoy were exercising their rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms when the federal government declared an emergency, creating a large secure zone and dispersing the truckers’ demonstration. These rights, especially the freedom of peaceful assembly, form the backdrop to consideration of the federal government’s decision to declare an emergency under the Emergencies Act and enact regulations for bringing the demonstrations to an end. Though it is one of the Charter’s fundamental freedoms, section 2(c)’s freedom of peaceful assembly received little or no attention in the first 40 years of Charter interpretation and jurisprudence. However, now that the convoy and its dispersal has brought section 2(c) into the spotlight, this presentation will provide some much needed analysis of the provision's underlying values and purposes, of how it should be interpreted, and of how its infringement can be justified under section 1 of the Charter.

Event Date(s):

Lecture 1: Cara Zwibel:
January 18, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Lecture 2: Nomi Claire Lazar:
February 6, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Lecture 3: Jamie Cameron:
February 10, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

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Centre for Constitutional Studies
448D Law Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2H5
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