This past Monday, Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, has gone even further in his hate for the Freedom Convoy as he has invoked the Emergencies Act in an attempt to try and crack down on the demonstrators that have clogged streets in Ottawa and choked out various border crossings along the U.S.-Canadian border.
Trudeau told his cabinet and the premiers of Canada of his plans to utilize the act on Monday morning. This choice by the prime minister is the first time in history that the act, which took the spot of the War Measures Act in 1988, has ever been invoked and utilized.
“After discussing with cabinet and caucus, after consultation with premiers from all provinces and territories, the federal government has invoked the emergencies act to supplement provincial and territorial capacity to address the blockades and occupations,” Trudeau stated as part of his press release. “I want to be very clear, the scope of these measures will be time-limited, geographically targeted, as well as reasonable and proportionate to the threats they are meant to address. The emergencies act will be used to strengthen and support law enforcement agencies at all levels across the country.”
The powers instilled from the Emergencies Act will “strengthen” the ability of law enforcement to issue fines to, and even imprison, the demonstrators, claimed the prime minister. The act will be carried out most heavily when around “critical infrastructure” which he claimed included airports and border crossings. Trudeau also stated that the act allows the use of “essential services” which he claims is the use of towing services to forcibly move trucks out of any blockades along the highways.
“In addition, financial institutions will be authorized and directed to render essential services to help address the situation including by regulating and prohibiting the use of property to fund or support illegal blockades,” claimed Trudeau.
The prime minister went on to try and emphasize the fact that the Canadian military would not be involved in the breaking up of any demonstrations.
“We’re not using the emergencies act to call in the military. We are not suspending fundamental rights or overriding the charter of rights and freedoms. We are not limiting people’s freedom of speech. We are not limiting freedom of peaceful assembly. We are not preventing people from exercising their right to protest legally. We are reinforcing the principles, values and institutions that keep all Canadians free,” claimed Trudeau.
Trudeau has also called the use of this Emergencies Act a desperate “last resort.”
The finance minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, has gone on to state that banks and many other premier financial institutions through the country sport the authority to “temporarily cease providing financial services where the institution suspects that an account is being used to further the illegal blockades and occupations. This order covers both personal and corporate accounts.”
Various crowdfunding platforms, which have been used by protesters to fund their multi-week protests, would be in the domain of the enforcement of “Canada’s anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules,” claimed Freeland.
“These changes cover all forms of transactions,” she continued. “The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowd-funding platforms and some of the payment service providers they use are not fully captured under the proceeds of the Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.”
As stated within the Emergencies Act, an emergency situation “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it.”