The UCP Government Responds to Justice Paul Rouleau’s Report on the Emergencies Act  

On Friday Justice Paul Rouleau released his report of the inquiry into the Trudeau government’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act in response to the convoy protests in Ottawa and elsewhere in Canada.

Rouleau determined the Feds’ decision met the “very high threshold” necessary to invoke the Act.

The Alberta government is not pleased with Rouleau’s decision and Justice Minister Shandro issued a brief statement.

Mr Justice Rouleau

Shandro says: Alberta’s government maintains that the federal government’s consultation with provinces was inadequate…

Rouleau determined the Feds consultation could have been better but was adequate given its context. There was “substantial intergovernmental engagement” between politicians and government officials to ensure existing legal tools were being used and resourced. The First Ministers Meeting came as no surprise to the provinces.  

Rouleau says Alberta, like some other provinces, maintained that everything was under control. However, he notes the following facts that contradict Alberta’s position:  

  • hundreds of protesters blockaded the Coutts border for days
  • although a few UCP MLAs showed up to have informal discussions with the Coutts protesters, the Alberta government was not present at the blockade in any official capacity.
  • the Alberta government’s plan to hire tow truck operators fell apart and the RCMP asked the Canadian Armed Forces for heavy equipment, but didn’t get any
  • the Alberta government asked the Feds for towing equipment but didn’t get any. It eventually bought 12 trucks but couldn’t find trained operators.  
  • the RCMP filed charges against some Coutts protesters after discovering a cache of weapons and a conspiracy to murder police officers

Shandro says: …unnecessarily invoking the Emergencies Act set a dangerous precedent. The decision to invoke the act violated the constitutionally guaranteed rights of Albertans and gave the federal government the ability to seize property without due process of law.

This is a weird one. I’m not sure if Shandro is saying the Feds’ decision to invoke the Act was unconstitutional (the Act was passed in accordance with Parliamentary procedure in 1988 and the decision to invoke it in Feb 2022 was made in accordance with its provisions) or he’s complaining that by invoking the Act the Feds violated constitutionally guaranteed rights (which, within strict  limitations, is the purpose of the Act).  

Also it’s unclear which Albertans’ rights were violated (Albertans protesting at Coutts? Albertans occupying Ottawa? Albertans who were horrified by the occupation and cheered when the Feds invoked the Act?).

Shandro says: As a result, the conclusion reached by the inquiry does not affect Alberta’s decision to participate in legal challenges initiated against the federal government by the Canadian Constitution Foundation and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association last year.

Obviously Rouleau did not address this point, but the position taken by the CCF and the CCLA that the threat did not meet the threshold required by the Act suits the UCP’s anti-Trudeau narrative so they’re going for it.

Shandro says: “The 56 recommendations in the report show that there were many issues with the way the federal government used the Emergencies Act. My department will be reviewing the report and its recommendations, and I call on the federal government to do the same.

Of the 56 recommendations made by Rouleau, 24 fall within the Feds’ sole jurisdiction (they relate to information gathering and amendments to the Emergencies Act). The rest require joint action on the part of the feds and the provinces, territories, and indigenous governments in the areas of policing, critical trade corridors, social media and cryptocurrency. The fact these recommendations were made is not an indictment of the Trudeau government’s actions.

The Feds committed to review the report and respond to its recommendations within a year. Shandro has committed to review the report but has not committed to a “comprehensive, public response” within a year as Trudeau has done.  

Shandro says: “One thing is clear: the federal government must involve provinces and territories in the decision-making process for future emergencies. Matters like infrastructure, policing and the economy have provincial impacts and Alberta must have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that affect our province and our people.

See above. Rouleau said the Feds have an obligation to “consult” and they met that obligation. In other words, Alberta had a “seat at the table.”This is puffery.

Shandro says: “I will continue to be a voice for the priorities, interests and concerns of Alberta and to protect Albertans’ freedoms from federal government intrusions.”

Rouleau determined that the Feds met the extremely high threshold to invoke the Act.  

Consequently this is more puffery. It adds nothing meaningful to the Alberta government’s statement other than to repeat its tired “stay in your lane” mantra.

If Rouleau had ruled otherwise the UCP would have had another cudgel with which to whack the Feds and the so-called Trudeau-Notley alliance in the run up to the May 29 election.

That didn’t happen so the UCP government cobbled together this sad little statement.

We’ve come to expect nothing less.

This entry was posted in Crime and Justice, Law, Politics and Government, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to The UCP Government Responds to Justice Paul Rouleau’s Report on the Emergencies Act  

  1. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. Tyler Shandro and the UCP, including Danielle Smith, have no idea of what people are allowed to do, and what they aren’t allowed to do. They are supporting the fringe extremists, who don’t do society any good. I’ll play some more fitting music. This is a Sonny Curtis composition, I Fought The Law, covered by a Texas group, The Bobby Fuller Four, in 1965.

    • Dwayne, I marvel at your music selections. This one is perfect. The trucker convoy fought the law and the law won. Unfortunately this sad little group still thinks they were right. Now they’re making making up all sorts of lies about Paul Rouleau’s supposed relationship to the Trudeau family (there isn’t one) to explain away the fact Rouleau didn’t side with them.

  2. Ingamarie says:

    It’s tough being a UCP….when everyone knows that the right flank of your base likely participated in some of these blockades. Canadians need to consider how safe it is going to be if we elect conservatives beholden to the likes of the convoy activists.

    When the absolute rights of a few trump the relative rights of all Canadians we could find ourselves in dangerous territory………I’m trying to imagine a UCP supported national government……using the ‘hands off’ policies of a Doug Ford……when the next gaggle of ‘our way or the highway’ freedomites descend on our national capital.

    Meditating on that scenario could keep the Liberals in power for decades! But what I find most strange is that our Alberta government officials don’t know that the vast majority of Canadians likely wish the Emergency Act had been declared at least a week sooner.

    • Ingamarie: You make a really good point about how horrible a national UCP-like government would be. We got a glimpse of what that would be like in Pierre Poilievre’s response to the CBC reporter who asked whether he regretted standing with the truckers now that Rouleau’s decision is out.
      Poilievre responded with 3 equally stupid comments:
      (1) he attacked the reporter as biased. (2) he said he’d been clear from the very beginning that he “condemned” bad behavior, and (3) he referred to Rouleau’s comment that the majority of the truckers were peacefully exercising their Charter rights, and said he’d been standing in support of the good protesters, not the bad ones. So now it appears that in the short space of time it takes Poilievre to take a selfie, he can look into the heart of a trucker and discern whether he’s a bad apple or a law abiding protester.

      • ingamarie says:

        What PP is really courting is the sense of aggrievance and entitlement that many ordinary Canadians are coming to feel. Demagogues seldom have solutions to the problems we face; they use the problems we face to conn little people into the blame game.
        It seems to be a profitable game however; and there’s a lot of conspiracy theories out there, created by the powerful to gull the relatively helpless citizen. From weather balloons, to unidentified flying objects, foreign government interference to the need for endless military expansion………..a lot of what we’re being fed is violent fantasy.
        Real solutions to real problems, like the lack of affordable housing…would take cooperation and real resolve.
        Much more fun and profit in stirring a variety of pointless pots!!!

  3. Sharon says:

    Our former premier used the words “your boy screwed the pooch” with reference to how Trudeau handled the Coutts situation. Well I guess we can use the same words to Dangerous Danielle with respect to the drivel that came out of the Minister of Injustice’ mouth. Supporting and participating in lawsuits is not what I want my taxpayer dollars to go to. But I don’t expect the members of the unhinged chaotic party to understand what a rational thinking person expects of the government. I am appalled that Tyler Skidrow thinks the majority of Albertans are as ignorant as him….

    • Sharon, I agree with you 100%…the UCP squanders our tax dollars in so many ways, wasting it on a lawsuit which already has two entities, the CCF and the CCLA front and centre, is nothing more than a sop to the fringe to trick them into thinking the UCP “has their back”.

  4. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my second song pick. This is a Dave Mason composition, Shouldn’t Have Took More Than You Gave. This is from the group Traffic, which Dave Mason helped co-found, with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood, in 1967. It is from their live album, released in 1971, titled Welcome To The Canteen. Additional members of the group, who joined later on, are Jim Gordon, Rick Grech, and Reebop Kwaku Baah. Another fitting song.

  5. mikegklein says:

    To me, one of the questions Susan is asking is: Did we get the government we deserve?
    “Every Nation gets the government it deserves.” – Jospeh de Maistre – 1811
    “The government you elect is the government you deserve.” – Thomas Jefferson – 1811? (could find the date)
    Anyway, did we?

    • mikegklein says:

      You know, perhaps we need to lay out specific example by specific example, case by case, why we did or why we did not. That might be instructive for all?

    • Gerald says:

      No. Smith was elected leader of the clown party by approx 1%of Alberta. She then went on to win a byelection for her seat in the legislature. Neither carry the full mandate of winning a general election.

      • mikegklein says:

        Yeah, it’s interesting. The other contestants had some not very nice things to say about Ms Smith in the leadership race. She squeaked in. Nearly all them were happy to prostrate themselves at her feet while kissing her ring. Is that the character of government that Albertans chose? Yet here we are with the polling numbers that we have, with the obsequious cabinet that we have. It’s a puzzle to be sure. It has been a puzzle for a long time.

    • Mike and Gerald: this is an interesting question. I agree with Gerald that in Smith’s case she lucked into the job after winning the leadership on the 6th ballot. What will be interesting is whether she’s allowed to keep the job on May 29.
      I keep thinking none of us are getting the government we deserve because our “first past the post” system screws up the voting process.

      • Ingamarie says:

        If the people in Smith’s constituency who voted Alberta Party in the by election, vote NDP in the spring, she may not even hold the seat. One of the ways Albertan’s end up getting the government they deserve is that many of them can’t imagine a government that would govern for all Albertans.
        To some extent, we’ve let the astro-turf generated ‘fear of socialism’ keep us looking for the same alternative………an essentially right wing government with a different name. But government is not supposed to cater to the needs of a well heeled minority….at least not in a democracy it isn’t.

        When we come to believe in the necessity of a social democracy, we’ll vote for the politicians who want to provide that. Until then, many of us don’t mind wasting money, if its money wasted on our slice of the demographic.

        Whining about government spending….and then voting for a bunch of lobbyists with the same old commitments to take care of the patch, is precisely how we get a government we didn’t deserve.

      • Gerald says:

        Susan: I sincerely hope she does not.
        Lately, I find every time a Smith cabinet minister opens their mouth,
        the effluvial stench emitted is palpably worse than in the waning months of Jim Prentice’s government.

        It rather appears to me that UCP mla’s are not students of history.
        They have obviously not remembered Thomas Lukazuk’s analysis of why the PC’s lost in 2015 – the public have become tired of them.

        Every noxious utterance from her government is pure election campaign fodder.

  6. Stephen Anderson says:

    The reaction by Shandro was predictable and expected. However, nobody seems to have remembered that Ric McIvor wrote a letter to the federal government asking for help in removing the vehicles in the Coutts blockade. I think that it should be made publicly available again to show the hypocrisy and untruths the UCP are once again responsible for.

    • Good point Stephen. Rouleau said Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba “voiced the strongest reservations” at the First Ministers Meeting, saying they had the situation under control (hah!) and had other means to respond such as lifting all remaining public health restrictions. In other words, cave to the demands of the protesters.
      Isn’t that a great plan, teach hooligans if they occupy a major city and blockade the borders they’ll get exactly what they want.

  7. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. This is Peter Frampton doing his composition, I’m In You, live in Oakland, California, in July 1977. I saw Peter Frampton live, a few years ago.

  8. Reynold Reimer says:

    There is a way to put Shandro, Smith, et. al. out of their misery. That is to transition them out of government in May. Here in Calgary we need to have the biggest vote turnout in history.

    • John Clark says:

      Notley’s term dug us out of the Conservative hole and propelled us to number 1 in GDP out of all the 10 provinces. I want more of that!

    • Reynold and John: Agree 100%. The die hard Calgary conservatives have to put their weird biases aside and choose the NDP who have a vision for the future, not the tired old UCP who are stuck in the blame game.
      Or if that’s a bridge too far, they could simply sit this one out.

  9. Lee Neville says:

    Pipsqueaks will pipsqueak.

    What an embarrassment Albertans have for a Minister of Justice – all assertions in his statement are pure inane sophistry – Man, would I like to see the Feds just shrug and quip “Dude should stay in his lane”. What a total dweeb.

    That said, is the internal polling in Calgary South ridings indicating so little support for the UCP that every crazed-moon bat-shit crazy voter who whined at the crytrucker konvoy in Ottawa/Coutts has to be courted assiduously? What a spectacle – micro-targeting as public policy! Oy vey!

    Truly Tyler, Duh-Duh Danielle et al? These whack-a-loon bleach swillin’/ivermectin-nipple-smearin’ whining jam tart candy-asses afraid of a wee prick in their arm your people? Really? You get what you deserve!

    May cannot come soon enough!

  10. Bruce Turton says:

    No mention of the made in UCP Alberta law that makes unlawful certain demonstrations that block economic activity not being used!!!

    • Bruce, that is an interesting point. Given the fuss the Kenney government made about the need to protect infrastructure from protesters whose demonstrations impede trade one would have expected it to be front and centre in clearing out the blockade at Coutts.

      • Lee Neville says:

        The rank bald hypocrisy-horror that is the UCP’s “Krack the Heads of Protesters Just Goddamn Now” Act only that it apparently is only ever invoked against environmentalists, First Nations, LGTBQ2+ , people of colour and all the other so-called dismissed “woke” protesters that have the temerity to meet in groups larger than 2 – had the crowd in Coutts been reflective of those signifiers, the whole thing would have been over in less than a day.

        It will NEVER be invoked against right wing white, working class, male, hetero-normative “right-thinking” (got to love that thug Ralph Klein for that descriptor) cranks amped up on libertarian booswah, helmeted and camo’ed up with light body armor and possibly lethally armed. Personally, I can’t think of a better group to experience the State’s awe-full majesty of its use of legal sub-lethal aggression on non-compliant citizens.

        Its not so hard to imagine the Feds responding at the Coutts border and in Ottawa with a full-on G8 level policing response – what would have our dopey Justice Minister and the Alberta UCP and PP + FedCons have made of tactics like “kettling” , horse troopers with loaded lathis, batons and shields, water cannon, sonic pulse weapons and endless volleys of tear and vomit gas used to disperse the protesters? I’m not so sure the rest of Canada watching “peace, order and good government” being restored in such a matter would have mustered much, if any, sympathy for these particular protestors blowing horns or blocking one of the nation’s border crossing.

        I’m grateful the Fed govt was both a decisive and temperate actor here and that was confirmed by Justice Rouleau – it could have been much, much, much worse.

  11. If protestors stopped a train of dilbit crossing the border the Alberta governments actions would have been quite different!


  12. John clark says:

    Alberta. Is negative for the sake of being contrary! That’s why we need Ann NDP government in place!

    • John, I guess if you don’t have meaningful policies yelling about Trudeau fills the air time. It’s the UCP modus operandi.

      • GoinFawr says:

        Yep. The UCP and Danielle Smith are one trick pony rage farmers.

        This is to distract voters from waking up to what the UCP are actually attempting to do: undermine labour, roll public education’s pedagogy and curriculum back to the 1960’s where corporate propaganda and Christianity reigned supreme, and use public money to subsidize the wealthy’s more inscrutable, privately owned and operated, for profit, health’care’ clinics operating in Alberta contrary to the Canada Health Act. Amongst other horrible things…

        Your oily theocracy awaits, Albertan thralls.

  13. One thing Ms. Soapbox doesn’t note here that I think is quite significant is that the UCP did draft a letter to the Federal Government requesting additional resources to handle the Coutts blockade. Whether that letter was ever sent is immaterial, IMO – anyone with their eyes open could see full well that the AB government was sitting on its thumbs.



    • GoinFawr says:

      An important reminder that bears repeating.
      Also, if the UCP didn’t send the letter, why does Judge Rouleau’s report contain testimony that Bill Blair’s office had a reply to it?

      • Two possibilities: They had encountered the leaked version seen on social media, or it was in fact sent but the UCP never acknowledged doing so.

      • GoinFawr I think Rouleau’s report says Alberta did request heavy towing equipment but the only ones the Feds could access were Canadian Armed Forces heavy-duty wreckers that weren’t readily available nor suitable for the job. I believe Blair’s office had drafted a response to this effect but it wasn’t sent due to “human error”.

    • Michelle and GoinFawr: Agreed. The mere fact that Coutts dragged on until the cache of guns and the conspiracy to murder RCMP was discovered shows you how out of control things were in this province.

  14. Jaundiced Eye says:

    It will be interesting to see if Rachel Notley jumps down the same rabbit hole as the UCP on the Rouleau report in the hopes of winning the hearts and minds of UCP supporters.

    Apropos of nothing, has anyone else noticed how the right are such snowflakes when it comes to terms such as “Just Transition” and “minority fringe”? These are merely words! Have the right never heard of, “Sticks and stones….”?

    Even more grating is that the progressives bend over backwards to placate the right when a “suck it up buttercup” should suffice.

    • Jaundiced Eye: your comments about snowflakes reminded me that the protesters were incensed that Trudeau wouldn’t meet with them to hear their complaints. Poilievre kept hammering on about this as well.

      Rouleau said: “I accept that meeting with an undefined group of organizers with no clear leadership, when in any event there was little likelihood of predicting, let alone controlling, the protesters’ actions, was unlikely to resolve matters. Comparable attempts to negotiate in Windsor had been unsuccessful for similar reasons.” He concluded it was reasonable for the feds NOT to pursue it.

      But you know how it is with snowflakes, their feelings were hurt and they’ll hold a grudge forever.

    • Sharon says:

      And the great thing about snowflakes is that they melt and are gone!

  15. R says:

    Same old, same old
    “Trudeau bad” bull shit without any real facts to back it up. Coutts seen illegal weapons and several persons charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
    No UCP outrage about that, I wonder why?

    • R: why indeed. Not only was there no outrage but a number of UCP MLAs showed up at Coutts and supported their cause with selfies and in one case his own vehicle.
      The fact that a number of people demonstrated outside the courthouse demanding that the “Coutts boys” be released shows you just how far gone these people are.

      • Joanne M Helmer says:

        there were a lot of people at that protest in lethbridge. it looked like hundreds. why are there so many so misinformed?

      • mikegklein says:

        That perception may be related to the notion that in politics, perception is reality. The numbers in the groups always seemed surprisingly large. However, the people in those groups came from other places, even places very far away. Make a crowd as large as possible for fellowship among the individuals within the group, for intimidation by the group, for perception of a broad social “grassroots” movement. Because the groups appear in a given place, they may develop the sense among locals to that place that that’s how all the people in the place think. I think there is a science to all this.

  16. Dave says:

    Its hard to be taken seriously when a province’s knee jerk reaction is to always be against anything the Federal government does. The UCP’s response to the the judge’s report is basically just pandering to their own COVID denying leadership and base, conveniently forgetting the Coutts border blockade by the protesters also hurt Albertan and at the time the provincial government wanted it ended too.

    Of course the main reason the provinces weren’t “consulted” is because they (particularly certain ones led by Conservative premiers) deliberately avoided being dealing with this issue for fear of upsetting some of their supporters. So, they left it to the Feds to deal with this and take the flack.

    • Exactly Dave, Rouleau’s report mentions the fact that Trudeau was asked at the hearing what it would have taken to convince him not to invoke the Emergencies Act. Trudeau said that he would have had to hear from
      the premiers that they had a solution that would not require the use of the Act, and he didn’t hear this. The only solution the premiers offered was to drop the few remaining public health restrictions.
      In other words they were willing to cave to protesters who were illegally occupying Ottawa and blockading the borders. That is cowardice. That’s not good governance.

  17. M says:

    Look, it’s another Terrible Tyler Tantrum. Maybe he just wants to draw attention away from his Law Society hearing. Stomping his feet ought to do the truck, er, I mean trick. Oooh, scary. What we see: this big guy under a bridge.

    • M I’ve got to say I enjoyed the IKEA clip. The first part reminded me of a Neil Gaiman short story I read a while ago. The story, unlike the IKEA clip, did not end on a happy note. Perhaps Shandro should take heed.

  18. GoinFawr says:

    Danielle Smith didn’t like something that did or did not happen to Trudeau? Did Tyler Shandro say something about Trudeau? When Albertans all have, more or less, access to privatized healthcare paid by public dollars that benefits vital partners of the UCP, how will it be explained by the UCP to be Trudeau’s fault? Trudeau, anyone? Anyone up for 2 minutes of hate on some Trudeau?

    No human could last 15 minutes playing that name as drinking game if just one UCP’er was in the room.

    I wonder if this ruling means Ms.Smith will put a final sock in her ‘imprecise language-ing’ the judiciary…

    I watched a fair portion of those proceedings, it was painful to witness the hardship that people had put themselves, their families, their communities, and (worse) others’ communities through based on, as far as I could tell from their testimony, foreign funded disinformation.

    I agree with Justice Rouleau’s ruling, and I am grateful for it too.

    • GoinFawr says:

      Not ‘ruling’, report.

    • Good points GoinFawr: I found it interesting that the statement re: Rouleau’s report was issued by Shandro while the statement re: Trudeau’s Sustainable Jobs plan was issued by Smith. Shandro’s statement included that weird bit at the end where he says “I will continue to be a voice for the priorities, interests and concerns of Alberta and to protect Albertans’ freedoms from federal government intrusions.”
      You’d think he was the premier with all that “I” language.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s