Canada’s PM seeks emergency powers to tackle ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests – media — Analysis

Justin Trudeau reportedly wants to use the Emergencies Act, a never before used law to address Covid protests in Canada

Canada’s prime minister is planning to invoke the Emergencies Act – never-before-used legislation granting the government extra powers to handle crisis situations – to tackle the Freedom Convoy demonstrations, broadcaster CBC reported on Monday, citing anonymous sources.

Justin Trudeau spoke about invoking the Act to quash the ongoing ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests, during a meeting with his Liberal Party caucus. According to reports, Trudeau indicated that he didn’t plan on sending the Canadian army to the streets in the event the Act is invoked. Premier Trudeau is likely to discuss the matter with the provincial premiers in the latter part of the day.

It gives the government extra power to address national emergencies. “urgent and critical situation,”It is possible to “take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times.”Canada can invoke the Act when it is in a crisis situation “of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it,”These include matters relating to the public welfare and law, but also to international crises and war.

Personal data of Freedom Convoy donors leaked

Although the emergency status is effective immediately upon being declared by cabinet, the government must still get approval from parliament within seven days. Should either of the legislature’s chambers vote against it, the declaration of emergency will be revoked.

It’s the second time Trudeau has reportedly considered invoking the Emergencies Act during his time in office. In 2020, Trudeau had discussed the possibility of taking an emergency measure to end the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the province premiers opposed it.

The Emergencies Act was adopted in 1988. Canadian authorities have not used it yet. The Act replaced the 1914 War Measures Act, which was primarily used to expand the government’s powers during wartime. That legislation was used in peacetime only once in 1970, when the father of the current prime minister, then-PM Pierre Trudeau, invoked the Act amid the government’s standoff with Quebec separatists.

For weeks, Canada has seen mass protests against vaccine mandates. The Freedom Convoy demonstrations kicked off late in January in response to Trudeau’s demand for unvaccinated truckers to quarantine after coming back into Canada from a state in neighboring USA. Protesters began blocking important routes through Canada as well as border crossings to the USA, and this escalated. The activists’ demands have also grown, ranging from calls for the revocation of any coronavirus-related restrictions, to Trudeau’s resignation.

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