A small victory in the midst of a major catastrophe…
On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will revoke the Emergencies Act after using the powers to break-up and target key organizers and participants in the Freedom Convoy protest, a movement of truckers and citizens who protested Canada’s vaccine mandate and restrictions.
The AP first reported the story:
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday he is removing emergency powers police can use after authorities ended the border blockades by those opposed to COVID-19 restrictions as well as the occupation of downtown Ottawa.
Trudeau invoked the powers last week and lawmakers affirmed the powers late Monday. Trudeau said then the powers were still needed but noted they would not still in place a day longer than necessary.
As noted by the AP, the emergency powers granted the Canadian government authority “to declare certain areas as no-go zones” and also allowed “police to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts and compel tow truck companies to haul away vehicles.”
[sources: The Daily Wire & Associated Press]
Earlier this week, a Canadian law enforcement official told the press that investigations into the Freedom Convoy would go on for months.
But, during a speech on Wednesday, Trudeau announced that “after careful consideration” the situation was no longer an emergency and that the act could be revoked.
“We were very clear that our use of the Emergencies Act would be limited in time,” he added.
Trudeau announces end of Emergencies Act. pic.twitter.com/sHnrsZCDQN
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 23, 2022
Trudeau received fierce backlash for enacting the powers on a mostly peaceful protest.
Jason Kenney, the Premier of the Canadian province of Alberta, announced Saturday that he was suing the federal government of Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for their use of the Emergencies Act, calling the move unjustified in the circumstances.
“The situation in Ottawa is serious. Law and order has to be restored,” Kenney said at the time,
“But the Emergencies Act was designed to come into effect at the failure of the state,” in the event of a coup or insurrection that threatened to topple Canada’s democratic institutions. However, there is no insurrection or coup.”
“Conservative Member of Parliament Philip Lawrence also said that the wording of the Emergencies Act grants the federal government far-reaching authority to freeze the accounts of people only tangentially involved in the protest,” The Daily Wire reported.
“The de-banking provisions are so broad, that literally a clerk at a Kwik-E-Mart who sold a propane canister to a protester could have his accounts frozen,” Lawrence claimed.
A Canadian court also denied Tamara Lich, one of the organizers of Canada’s Freedom Convoy movement, bail because they were worried she was a flight-risk after being elected by Canadian law enforcement.
Is unclear what will happen to those arrested and when individuals will have access to their bank accounts again.
A US-based Freedom Convoy has begun it’s journey across the country in protest of what remains of Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.
Author: Elizabeth Tierney