Trudeau goes scorched earth on truckers with Emergencies Act, invokes freezing of bank accounts

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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.

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.”

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.

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 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:


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