Trudeau Invoked ‘Emergency’ Act Only After Biden Administration Urged Canada to Use ‘Federal Powers’

Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden (Getty)
Pete Marovich-Pool / Getty

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in the country’s history to crack down on protests against his vaccine mandate — just days after the Biden administration urged him to use “federal powers.”

Last Thursday, several Biden administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, spoke to their counterparts in Canada as protesters closed the Ambassador Bridge.

The protests are part of nationwide demonstrations against the government’s imposition of vaccine mandates on truckers — a year after Trudeau called mandates ““extreme measures that could have real divisive impacts on community and country.”

The Ambassador Bridge connects Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Canada, and carries 25% of U.S.-Canada trade. Protesters closed down commercial traffic from the U.S. to Canada for several days, impacting production in several industries.

By Sunday, Canadian authorities had cleared the bridge. However, blockades continued at other ports of entry, and truckers remain encamped in the capital city of Ottawa. Several provincial authorities rolled back COVID-19 restrictions in response.

In the U.S., Democratic-run states and cities reversed many coronavirus restrictions and mandates, partly because of declining case counts, but also out of fear that the Canadian truckers’ protest could inspire similar demonstrations.

Still, Trudeau held out, defying conservative criticism — and criticism from left-wing allies who faulted him for not cracking down on the protests sooner. Trudeau’s emergency powers override some civil liberties to allow law enforcement to crack down on protests and to intercept donations intended for the truckers.

The Biden administration has said publicly that the truckers have freedom of speech, while telling Canadian officials that the U.S. wanted to see the border protests cleared.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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