Canadian PM Justin Trudeau declares national emergency in response to ongoing truckers’ protests
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared a national emergency in response to the ongoing truckers’ protests against various Covid-19 related measures including vaccine mandates. Trudeau made the announcement invoking the Emergency Act, which was enacted in 1988, and never used before in the country’s history as the agitation entered its 18th day. “We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue,” he said in Ottawa. The emergency powers came into immediate effect and will last for 30 days.
Among the measures that will be applied will be stronger tools for law enforcement to disperse gatherings of protestors including at major border trade routes connecting Canada to the United States. In addition, the act will allow the government to go after crowdfunding platforms and payment processors that have been used by the Freedom Convoy 2022 to fund their protest, and compel financial institutions to freeze accounts of individuals or organisations linked to the agitation. The announcement came after reports that there was pressure from the United States on Trudeau to act expeditiously to deal with the crisis, which affected trucking routes to Canada’s four provinces - Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta.
Rights groups were concerned over such action, as the Canadian Center for Civil Liberties tweeted, “The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act. This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the act allows the government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met.”
Justin Trudeau also spoke of the “reputational damage” Canada had suffered due to the ongoing protests, and said such opposition to vaccine-related issues was “something democracies around the world are concerned about”.
(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)