The War Measures Act
is a clause in the Canadian Constitution
that allows the government to assume sweeping emergency powers. When the act is evoked, citizens can be arrested and imprisioned without the benefit of trial or even a stated explanation. It essientially creates a period of martial law
in the country.
The act has been evoked three times in Canadian history, once during World War I, once during World War II and once during the October Crisis of 1970.
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