Trudeau’s Justice Minister resigns following court ruling
Former Liberal Justice Minister jumps ship after federal court judge rules his party violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. During the Emergencies Act inquiry, text messages revealed Lametti discussing the use of military tanks to quell the Freedom Convoy protest. 

Mike Campbell

January 25, 2024

David Lametti, the former Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada, is resigning from his position, effective February 1st. 

Trudeau’s Justice Minister resigns following federal court ruling

His term as Attorney General was notably marked by the Freedom Convoy protests in February 2022 and the subsequent response from the Trudeau Government. 

Lametti’s resignation comes two days after a federal court judge ruled the Liberals violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by invoking the Emergencies Act against protesters in Ottawa during the Freedom Convoy. 

Lametti released a resignation letter in which he said he’s leaving his role to join a law firm of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin. Lametti said he’s “proud of the role” he played during the Freedom Convoy protest, but made no mention of the federal court’s ruling.

Lametti’s political journey saw him serving as parliamentary secretary to the ministers of international trade and innovation, science and economic development, before ascending to the role of Minister of Justice and Attorney General in 2019. 

His exit is not an isolated event. It follows the departure of Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, who quit on the spot in December.

It also comes one day after Liberal MP Ken McDonald openly challenged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s leadership and called for a party-wide vote to reassess their confidence in him. However on Thursday, McDonald walked back his statements.

Lametti joked about using tanks to clear protesters

During the Public Order Emergency Commission (POEC) inquiry, text messages revealed Lametti discussing the use of military tanks to quell the Freedom Convoy protest. 

He later described his comments as “banter” during his testimony. 

Federal court rules Trudeau violated Charter rights with Emergencies Act against Truckers

The Federal Court’s landmark ruling from Tuesday was a historical rebuke of the government’s handling of the Freedom Convoy protesters. The court found that the use of the Emergencies Act, a measure reserved for situations of severe national crisis, was disproportionate and infringed upon freedom of thought, opinion, and expression rights of the protesters, as per the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Applicants, consisting of the Canadian Constitution Foundation, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and four individuals who attended the 2022 Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa,  argued there was insufficient evidence that the lives, health or safety of Canadians were seriously endangered beyond the capacity that provincial authorities had. 

The respondents in the ruling consisted of the Governor in Council Mary Simon and then-Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, who were represented by the Attorney General of Canada,  Arif Virani.

Virani was made Attorney General of Canada after Trudeau booted Lametti from the role in August 2023.

Lametti deletes social media

Social media users became suspicious earlier this week when it became clear Lametti had deleted his X account. While some linked it to the federal court’s ruling, others suggested he deleted it late last year.  

More to come…

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