Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to deploy the “Emergencies Act” on Monday, which would allow him to take additional steps to quell the Freedom Convoy protests, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC).
The act has never been used before, CBC reported. The act defines a national emergency as “an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that (a) 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 or (b) seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada.”
Under the act, Trudeau is given the authority “to take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times.” Amongst the powers he would be granted, Trudeau could suspend travel to or from certain areas, order individuals and/or companies to render essential services or prohibit “public assembly that may reasonably be expected to lead to a breach of peace.”
Trudeau is expected to inform lawmakers of his decision at some point Monday, multiple unidentified sources told CBC. (RELATED: ‘They Want Their Freedom Back, Whatever That Means’: CNN Correspondent Scoffs At Trucker Protest)
Jack Lindsay, an associate professor in the applied disaster and emergency studies department at Brandon University in Manitoba, told CBC that the government must first prove the protest is a national emergency.
“[Trudeau is] basically going to be arguing that these truckers are basically creating a threat to the security of Canada,” Lindsay reportedly said, noting the government is not allowed to take control of police forces.
“They do have the grounds to regulate and prohibit public assembly and travel and then regulate or prohibit the use of specific properties,” Lindsay said. “I suppose they could put out regulations about where semi-trailers are allowed to park overnight, for example. They can designate protected places like the Ambassador’s Bridge or something.”
The Ambassador Bridge was reopened Sunday after protesters blocked the bridge, which connects Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit. The bridge allows for 25% of all trade between the U.S. and Canada, according to NPR.
BREAKING: Ottawa mayor Jim Watson just released a letter — which he says has been agreed to by convoy protest organizer Tamara Lich — for the demonstrators to leave “residential” areas by tomorrow.
— Alex Boutilier (@alexboutilier) February 13, 2022
“We’ve heard your frustration with COVID, with the measures that are there to keep people safe,” Trudeau said. “We’ve heard you. It’s time to go home now.”