Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time to squash the ongoing Freedom Convoy protests against Wuhan coronavirus restrictions, potentially giving the Canadian leader sweeping emergency powers.
Trudeau annoucned the use of the Emergencies Act for the first time in its history on Monday afternoon, stating that the federal government has invoked the act to aid law enforcement to stop border blockades as well as the Freedom Convoy demonstration in downtown Ottawa.
He went on to claim the act would be used in a time-limited and geographically narrow way and would not be used to bring in the military or suspend the rights of Canadians in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Emergencies Act replaced the prior War Measures Act that was used by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the current prime minister’s father, during the October crisis of 1970 when members of the far-left terrorist Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped and murdered Quebec Deputy Premier Pierre Laporte.
The act, which came into law in 1988, allows Trudeau to invoke various measures that could include banning people from gathering in certain areas as well as restricting their travel across the country.
Several Provincial Premiers have come out against the implementation of the Emergencies Act, including Saskatchawan conservative premier Scott Moe, who publicly stated he was opposed to the measure.
Freedom Convoy: Truckers Form New Border Blockade in Manitoba https://t.co/kQhzSuFa0l
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 10, 2022
“Saskatchewan does not support the Trudeau government invoking the Emergencies Act. If the federal government does proceed with this measure, I would hope it would only be invoked in provinces that request it, as the legislation allows,” Moe said on Twitter.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has also stated his opposition, saying, “We have the legal powers that we need. We have the operational resources that we need to enforce, and I think at this point for the federal government to reach in over top of us without offering anything in particular would frankly be unhelpful.”
Alberta is one of the provinces dealing with a Freedom Convoy blockade at the town of Coutts along the United States border, which has been ongoing for the last two weeks.
While the protestors did lift the blockade temporarily, it resumed last week, despite Alberta lifting several restrictions, including its vaccine passport system.
Canadian Conservative Party MP and leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre expressed support for the Freedom Convoy protesters. https://t.co/LTUEqfZj1C
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 14, 2022
In Manitoba, where a blockade was set up at the border in the town of Emerson, Premier Heather Stefanson released a statement saying that she did not support the use of the act either.
“In my view, the sweeping effects and signals associated with the never-before-used Emergencies Act are not constructive here in Manitoba, where caution must be taken against overreach and unintended negative consequences,” Stefanson said.
“While the situation is very different in Ontario, this ultimate federal legislation should only be considered on a measured and proportional basis, in locations where it is truly needed,” she added.
Francois Legault, premier of the French-speaking province of Quebec, has also come out against the Emergencies Act, saying, “I think that I was very clear with the prime minister that the federal Emergencies Act should not, must not apply in Quebec.”
Mayor Accuses Truckers of ‘Economic Terrorism’ as Another Canadian Blockade Formedhttps://t.co/80CaOlIixZ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 12, 2022
“We don’t have any problems in Quebec so far. The Sureté du Québec has everything under control,” he said but claimed the situation in Ottawa, Ontario, was different than any protests taking place in Quebec.
“I can understand that enough is enough in Ottawa. You can protest, but you can’t do what they’ve been doing for two weeks,” Legault said.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford stated Monday morning that he supported Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act just days after Ford declared a province-wide state of emergency to end several border blockades in Ontario, including the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, which sees large volumes of cross-border trade.
“I support the federal government and any proposal they have to bring law and order back to our province, to make sure we stabilize our business and trade around the world,” Ford said.
GiveSendGo Defies Fascist Canadian Govt. Order to Freeze Freedom Convoy Trucker Fundshttps://t.co/5qjgW53RJY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 11, 2022
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