The War Measures Act: Was It Necessary?

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“These men only ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.”- Abraham Lincoln. This quote fundamentally states that everyone wants fairness and the government should do what is in their power to give it to the people. On the contrary, the War Measures Act actually limits freedom and fairness. The War Measures Act is a law that gives the federal government comprehensive emergency power during a war, invasion or rebellion. It allowed the cabinet to do anything necessary for the “security, defence, peace, order and welfare of Canada” (Morton and Granatstein, 1989, p.7).The act severely limits the freedom of Canadians. It was used during World War One (1914), World War Two (1939) and the October Crisis (1970). It also has a negative effect on the esteem of Canada as it can be viewed as a hypocritical democratic nation, in which a model peacekeeping nation used a totalitarian force such as the War Measures Act. By unjustly punishing Canadians citizens, enforcing conscription as well as being used unnecessarily to address apprehended threats, the usage of the War Measures Act was neither fair nor necessary.

The unjust punishment of citizens that was allowed by the War Measures Act was iniquitous. When it was used in World War One, World War Two and the October Crisis, it led to the unjust punishment of Canadians by causing the internment of “enemy aliens” as well as the forced to registration with the government. In World War One, Canada had been in war with Germany, Austria, Hungary and Ukraine therefore immigration from there was suspended and people from there were considered “enemy aliens” and were interned. This meant that they had to register with the ...

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...the War Measures Act is not effective, fair or useful.

The War Measures Act is unjust and unessential due to the unjustified abuse of Canadian citizens, constraining conscription and needless use against apprehended threats. The War Measures Act is unfair and needless due to the fact that it allowed unjust punishment in both World Wars and the October Crisis. It helped conscription during World War One and Two which ultimately failed and caused a lot of division and hassle within Canada. Moreover, it took away the freedom and rights from citizens which Canada is renowned for. The act was not needed and was not fair. Fairness is treating people with respect and making decisions without self-interest, and is a part of our everyday life. “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”- The Golden Rule should always be used to the utmost extent.
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