The federal government has filed to appeal against a Federal Court decision that ruled the invocation of the Emergencies Act to quash the Freedom Convoy protests in 2022 was unconstitutional and unreasonable. 

The January decision was the result of an application for judicial review launched by the Canadian Constitution Foundation, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and several other applicants in 2022.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland promised that the federal government would appeal the decision last month, hoping to have it overturned.

“We have discussed it with the prime minister, with cabinet colleagues, with senior federal government officials and experts,” said Freeland. “We respect, very much, Canada’s independent judiciary. However, we do not agree with this decision and, respectfully, we will be appealing it.”

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre’s office said that if elected, his administration would drop the federal government’s appeal.

“Yes, Mr. Poilievre would respect the ruling of the court on this matter,” said a spokesperson for Poilievre’s office.

The Emergencies Act allowed the Trudeau government to freeze the bank accounts of people who were protesting against Covid-19 mandates and conscript tow truck drivers to remove vehicles from downtown Ottawa where the protest was taking place.

The act is an updated version of the former War Measure Act, and Trudeau’s invocation of it marks the first time since it was enacted in 1988.  

The act is only supposed to be used as a last resort once all other law enforcement tools have been exhausted and when the country is facing a national emergency which presents “threats to the security of Canada.” 

Justice Richard Mosley’s Federal Court decision found the measures to be extraordinary and in violation of Canadians’ right to freedom of expression and the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

Poilievre championed Mosley’s decision last month, saying that Trudeau “broke the highest law in the land with the Emergencies Act.”

“He caused the crisis by dividing people. Then he violated Charter rights to illegally suppress citizens. As PM, I will unite our country for freedom,” added Poilievre.