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War Measures Act

The War Measures Act is a clause in the Canadian Constitution that allows the government to assume sweeping emergency powers. When the act is invoked, citizens can be arrested and imprisoned without the benefit of trial or even a stated explanation. It essentially creates a period of martial law in the country.

The act has been invoked three times in Canadian history: World War I, World War II, during the October Crisis of 1970.

This act has been repealed and was replaced with the Emergencies Act in 1988.