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Justice Minister David LamettiWikimedia Commons

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) has released a statement questioning the decision by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal government to invoke “solicitor-client privilege” as a way of concealing certain information about the unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act (EA) from the public.

Reacting to Minister of Justice and Attorney General David Lametti’s decision to invoke solicitor-client privilege during Wednesday’s testimony at the Public Order Emergency Commission hearings, the CCLA said “the government is relying on solicitor-client privilege to shield the legal advice upon which Cabinet relied from the Commission and the public.”

The CCLA further said that Lamett’s decision to invoke “solicitor-client privilege” to avoid answering certain questions during the public inquiry “undermines the transparency of the process,” and that while solicitor-client privilege is important, “the government can choose to waive it and, in our view, should do so in the exceptional circumstances here.”

“The accountability mechanisms in the Emergencies Act suggest a need for the utmost transparency when it comes to the government’s decision,” added the group.

The CCLA also called foul on what they view as a “selective process” on behalf of the government, explaining that “the government has been content to have its own witnesses testify that their understanding of the Emergencies Act was based on legal advice, it now refuses to disclose that advice.”

Not known for being a conservative organization, the CCLA has been adamant since day-one that the Trudeau government had no legal basis for invoking the never-before-used EA.

On February 15, just one day after the invocation of the act, the CCLA stated: “The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act. This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the Act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met.”

A week ago, in response to Trudeau’s national security advisor admitting that “the government declared an emergency using criteria found outside the confines of the definition” of the written law, the CCLA released a statement saying, “Emergency is not in the eye of the beholder.”

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