Friday, 22 August 2014

The War Measures Act

100 years ago today saw the passage of the War Measures Act in Canada which remained in effect until 10 January 1920. It was modeled on The Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) passed in the United Kingdom on 8 August 1914
"The Governor in Council shall have power to do and authorize such acts and things, and to make from time to time such orders and regulations, as he may by reason of the existence of real or apprehended war, invasion or insurrection deem necessary or advisable for the security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada; and for greater certainty, but not so as to restrict the generality of the foregoing terms, it is hereby declared that the powers of the Governor in Council shall extend to all matters coming within the classes of subjects hereinafter enumerated, that is to say:-
(a) censorship and the control and suppression of publications, writings, maps, plans, photographs, communications and means of communication;
(b) arrest, detention, exclusion and deportation;
(c) control of the harbours, ports and territorial waters of Canada and the movements of vessels;
(d) transportation by land, air, or water and the control of the transport of persons and things;
(e) trading, exportation, importation, production and manufacture;
(f) appropriation, control, forfeiture and disposition of property and of the use thereof." 
In 1988 the War Measures Act was replaced by the Emergencies Act.

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