OTTAWA, ON: The Justice Centre is pleased to announce that the legal and constitutional challenge against the first-ever invocation of the Emergencies Act, filed as Jost et al. v. Canada, has been decided in favour of the citizens who participated in the peaceful 2022 Freedom Convoy in Ottawa. The Justice Centre provided lawyers for these Canadians, who launched a court action within ten days of the Emergencies Act being invoked, and who sought a court declaration that the Emergencies Act was invoked without legal justification. The constitutional challenge to the invocation of the Emergencies Act was filed on behalf of four Canadians who had participated in the peaceful Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa in January and February 2022. They are Jeremiah Jost, a 28-year-old contractor and volunteer firefighter from Alberta; Edward Cornell, a 64-year-old retired military veteran from New Brunswick; Rev. Harold Ristau from Ontario, a former Canadian Armed Forces chaplain and retired officer with Canadian Special Operations Forces Command; and Vincent Gircys, a retired, decorated member of the Ontario Provincial Police. The Emergencies Act was invoked on February 14, 2022, by the Federal Cabinet to shut down the Freedom Convoy protest. Each of the plaintiffs suffered significant harm during the militaristic police crackdown that began on February 18, 2022. Two of the applicants represented by the Justice Centre had their bank accounts frozen and seized, without judicial authorization or a review process, under laws that normally apply only to terrorists and enemy nations. Edward Cornell said his experience having his bank accounts seized was traumatic. “I broke no law, yet the government seized my accounts and froze my hard-earned money. I am not a criminal. I am not a terrorist. I am a retired Canadian military veteran who honourably served his country… I feel betrayed by my own government,” he added. The Justice Centre provided lawyers for the peaceful protest in 2022, and since that time has provided lawyers to defend Chris Barber, Tamara Lich and other Canadians facing unjust criminal charges. Justice Centre President John Carpay stated, “This is a great victory for democracy, for Charter rights and freedoms, and for the rule of law.” For media inquiries, please contact email@example.com.
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