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In wake of letter sent by feds, Sask. premier doesn't 'see the need' to invoke Canada's Emergencies Act
Published Thursday, April 9, 2020 5:08PM CST Last Updated Thursday, April 9, 2020 7:04PM CST
SASKATOON -- At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatchewan's premier says the province sees no need for the federal government to invoke the Emergencies Act.
The comment came after a letter from the federal government was circulated among provincial leaders.
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During a news conference Thursday in Regina, when asked about the letter, Premier Scott Moe confirmed its existence but would not go into detail about what it said.
"I won't comment to the content of the letter and we have had discussions with the federal government with respect to the use of the Emergencies Act federally. In saying that, Saskatchewan would remain steadfast as been to this point at in time - not specifically against the use of the act, but we do not see the need for the use of the federal Emergencies Act at this point in time," Moe said.
The Emergencies Act has never been invoked since its inception in 1985.
The act grants greater powers to the federal government to enable it to respond to a temporary national emergency.
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Its predecessor, the War Measures Act, was invoked during the First and Second World Wars as well as during the October Crisis of 1970 in Quebec.
Moe said his government is not specifically against the use of the act, but that present circumstances don't warrant its use.
"We have provincial acts in place here in Saskatchewan and many provinces, virtually all provinces and territories, and we don't see that the federal Emergencies Act would do anything that the provinces aren't already collaborating closely on," Moe said.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office confirmed the letter was sent to provincial leaders and said it was only meant to gauge the current needs of each province.
"There’s no plan to enact it right now,” the spokesperson said, emphasizing the act continues to be a measure of last resort.
With files from CTV News Saskatoon's Laura Woodward