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(Video Credit: Reuters)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau slammed the lid down on the “Freedom Convoy” Monday by invoking the Emergencies Act empowering banks to freeze accounts, banning public assembly, and allowing police to forcibly remove individuals from designated areas.
“The federal government has invoked the Emergencies Act to supplement provisional and territorial capacity to address the blockades and occupations,” proclaimed Trudeau, despite recently calling the massive protests just a “small, fringe minority” with “unacceptable views.”
The prime minister went on to state at a press conference that the blockades have “been disrupting the lives of too many Canadians. Here in our capital city [Ottawa], families of small businesses have been enduring illegal disruption of neighborhoods, occupying streets, harassing people, breaking the law.”
“This is not a peaceful protest,” he declared, pouring gasoline on an already fiery uprising against his government overreach.
I am clearly stating- I believe the measures taken today by Fed govt are not within the intent of the ER Act. Never used for other protests since it's inception. To use on our citizens as they fight for freedom & removal of mandates is massive over reach. #ableg #medhat #cdnpoli
— Drew Barnes (@Drew__Barnes) February 15, 2022
He claimed with a straight face that the action was about “keeping Canadian citizens safe” and “restoring confidence in our constitution.”
Greg Flynn, who is a political science professor, told Yahoo! News that one of the more heavy-handed measures that Trudeau can employ under the act is the ability to call in Canada’s armed forces “to deal with protestors.”
The Washington Post is reporting that this will bestow Trudeau’s government with “sweeping authority to override provincial powers, to ban public assembly in certain locations and to remove people and property from prohibited spaces.”
Trudeau on towtrucks refusing to tow Freedom Convoy truckers: Emergency actions include “an opportunity to compel” pic.twitter.com/Ux8wXsvJFw
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 14, 2022
While Trudeau now has “almost carte blanche” to respond to the “Freedom Convoy” protesters, there’s no indication currently that he will “also seek military intervention” as an option, according to the BBC.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland asserted that the government would go after the truckers’ funding and said that banks can now freeze funds they believe are going to the “illegal blockade” and be protected against civil liability for doing so. Two personal bank accounts have already been frozen by TD Bank with over a million dollars seized, according to Fox News.
New rule in Canada: If you think incorrectly, your bank account will be seized and you'll have no recourse https://t.co/518EU45nZj
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 14, 2022
The Emergencies Act, passed in 1988, grants the Canadian government added powers in times of national crisis. Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau’s father, invoked a predecessor of the act, then called the War Measures Act.
Trudeau used this earlier law in 1970 to suspend civil liberties and send in armed forces to respond to the political kidnappings of a British diplomat and a Quebec politician by home-grown terrorists known as the Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ). Army tanks and more than 1,000 troops from across Canada were called in to support the police in Quebec. The move was comparative to a police state.
To invoke the act, the situation must be an “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians.”
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 government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met. 1/3
— Canadian Civil Liberties Association (@cancivlib) February 15, 2022
The Cabinet can only employ the legislation if the emergency cannot be addressed by any existing federal law and if it exceeds the capacity of the provinces to handle it effectively.
According to Trudeau, the powers he is invoking will be time-limited and geographically specific. He is limited to 30 days to utilize the powers the act grants him if it is approved by parliament. The act could also be revoked before he can implement it.
The Emergencies Act outlines four different types of emergencies including public welfare emergencies, public order emergencies, international emergencies, and war emergencies.
NPR reported that Canadian Interim Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen slammed Trudeau’s move, “Does the prime minister think that these protests constitute a threat to the security of Canada? And if not, does he think that with this news, he could be escalating rather than de-escalating an already inflamed situation?”
If Trudeau thought this would quell the protests, it appears he thought wrong:
So peaceful protester = terrorist
— ThinkingIsEncouraged (@sonsamadams) February 14, 2022
Doesn’t sound like a free society to me…
— Red Kryptonite🚛 (@fireflytrails) February 14, 2022
Hey Canada…. If you take away people’s ability to protest peacefully in order to express their grievances, what do you leave them with?
This is not how Democracies act.
— Corn Pop Delecto (@andys240) February 14, 2022
Don’t worry, @JustinTrudeau isn’t “calling in the military”. He is just authorizing banks to unilaterally freeze your accounts on the basis of suspicion alone, no court order required, with legal immunity. I hope everyone realizes how much more dangerous this is than the military
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) February 14, 2022
Who can honestly take a look at what is going on under Trudeau in Canada and say “these are the good guys”?
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 14, 2022
This will not end well for them.
— Dan Gleesac (@Area_Resident) February 14, 2022
Stealing and freezing bank accounts without a court order is basically suspending due process and the rule of law. Good luck Canada. Dictator Trudeau is here to stay
— Ryan the rebel millennial (@patriotic_giant) February 14, 2022
This is some real Banana Republic stuff going on up there. From the Canadian media I’ve been reading, the consensus is this is a colossal failure in leadership from Trudeau
— hugh (@ROU812R) February 14, 2022
#Canadian citizens, initiate a bank run and withdraw funds and close accounts.
— John (@MediaMind1984) February 14, 2022
If I lived in Canada I’d be getting as much of my money as possible out of the country.
— Roland Deschain (@DsRoland) February 14, 2022
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