This past Wednesday, it was reported by the Associated Press that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is slated to relinquish the powers of the Emergencies Act in the wake of utilizing them to target key organizers and participants and break up the Freedom Convoy protests, which was a movement of truckers and citizens who were taking a stand against the vaccine mandate and restrictions in Canada.
As reported by the AP:
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 highlighted by the AP, these emergency powers gave officials within the Canadian government the 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.”
Earlier in the week, an official within Canadian law enforcement gave the Canadian government total authority “to declare certain areas as no-go zones” and allowed “police to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts and compel tow truck companies to haul away vehicles.”
However, as part of a speech that took place on Wednesday, Trudeau stated that “afte careful consideration” it was no longer an emergency situation and the powers from the act could be revoked.
“We were very clear that our use of the Emergencies Act would be limited in time,” he claimed. Trudeau also stated that all existing federal and local laws would “keep people safe.”
Trudeau announces end of Emergencies Act. pic.twitter.com/sHnrsZCDQN
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 23, 2022
Trudeau has experienced severe backlash for using these powers on an almost entirely peaceful demonstration. “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,” reported The Daily Wire.
“The situation in Ottawa is serious. Law and order has to be restored,” Kenny stated. “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,” reported the Wire.
“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,” stated Lawrence.