HomeNewsCanadian PM Justin Trudeau Lifts Emergency Powers After Freedom Convoy Protest Ends

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Lifts Emergency Powers After Freedom Convoy Protest Ends

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Dave Chan/Getty Images)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has lifted the emergency powers that he enacted to end nationwide protests against COVID mandates.

“The situation is no longer an emergency, therefore the federal government will be ending the use of the Emergencies Act,” he said during a press conference on Wed (Feb. 23). “We are confident that existing laws and bylaws are sufficient to keep people safe.”

On February 14th, the prime minister enacted The Emergencies Act after truckers filled streets and blocked Canada-U.S. borders.

Once passed, the act allowed the government to close down areas within the country to quell demonstrations. And it allowed police to freeze the bank accounts of truckers and those who donated to them or their cause.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said “influencers in the illegal protest in Ottawa, and owners and/or drivers of vehicles who did not want to leave the area” were among the people who had their accounts seized.

Under the Emergencies Act, police also asked towing companies to forcibly remove vehicles.

According to Canadian officials, police all borders are now open.

“We were very clear that the use of the Emergencies Act would be limited in time,” Trudeau also said. “We said we would lift it as soon as possible.”

Invoking the never before used powers created tension between Parliament, the Conservative Party, and multiple civil liberties groups. As they claimed, the act was an overreach that infringed on the Charter rights of Canadians.

Last week, The Canadian Civil Liberties Association announced plans to sue Trudeau for using the powers under the Emergencies Act.

Canadian Police Cleared Majority of Protesters From Streets in Front of Parliament Buildings Using Emergency Powers

News that Justin Trudeau lifted the Emergencies Act came after officials cleared the majority of the protests in front of Parliament Hill.

On Friday (Feb. 18), officers wearing riot gear and carrying automatic weapons swarmed through Ottawa streets arresting those who refused to leave the protest zone.

The AP wrote that police arrested over 100 people that day and then another 47 people on Saturday. Officers also ordered tow companies to remove vehicles that were blocking streets. And by the end of the weekend, they had hauled away dozens.

By Saturday, Convoy leader Tom Marazzo said the remaining protesters would leave peacefully if officers removed their barricades.

“As a movement, we have chosen to peacefully withdraw for the streets of Ottawa,” he said, according to MSN.

“There is nothing to be gained by being brutalized by police. We will simply re-group as a grassroots movement,” Marazzo continued. “If the police remove the barriers preventing us from actually leaving we will peacefully withdraw starting today.”