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Justin Trudeau Invokes Emergencies Act to Quell Canadian Protests

Justin Trudeau Invokes Emergencies Act to Quell Canadian Protests

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to address the growing protests against COVID-19 measures. The act allows the use of the military but the PM insisted they will not be brought in. It can temporarily suspend the rights to free movement and assembly. Also, the government can freeze the bank accounts of the protesters.

The protests began when truckers wanted to change the policy for those returning from the border. They are required to have a 14-day mandatory quarantine period of full vaccination. Others joined then protesting about social distancing, wearing masks, and vaccination. The protests have caused heavy traffic on the main trade routes to the US for two weeks.

“This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting peoples’ jobs, and restoring faith in our institutions,” Trudeau said during a news conference in Ottawa. The act states “For the purposes of this Act, a national emergency is an urgent and critical situation of a temporary nature that cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.”

Trudeau said the government is not overriding the charter of rights and freedoms, nor limiting the right to peaceful assembly. “We are not preventing people from exercising their right to protest legally,” he added.

The Windsor Police has also warned arrests if they continue to block the Ambassador Bridge. In Alberta, Royal Canadian Mounted Police made arrests on Monday. They have seized 13 long guns, handguns, multiple sets of body armor, a machete and a large quantity of ammunition and high-capacity magazines connected to a small, organized group within a larger protest at the US border crossing in Coutts, Alberta. 11 people were arrested near the border crossing that connects Coutts to Sweet Grass, Montana.

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