Trudeau lifts Emergencies Act after clearing Freedom Convoy from Ottawa

Trudeau’s rhetoric further dividing Canada

Canadian MP Melissa Lantsman lays bare the country’s divisions on ‘The Ingraham Angle.’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that he is lifting the Emergencies Act by which his government quelled the Freedom Convoy and froze the bank accounts of those who contributed to them.

“Today, after careful consideration, we’re ready to confirm that the situation is no longer an emergency,” Trudeau said during a press conference in Ottawa while flanked by his attorney general and other top ministers. “Therefore, the federal government will be ending the use of the Emergencies Act. We are confident that existing laws and bylaws are now sufficient to keep people safe.”

“Of course, we’ll continue to be there to support provincial and local authorities if and when needed. And I want to reassure Canadians: law enforcement agencies are prepared to deal with anyone engaging in unlawful or dangerous activities,” Trudeau also said. “Police officers will continue to be there to protect our streets and neighborhoods within their jurisdictions.”

The Canadian House of Commons on Monday night had voted 185 to 151 in favor of extending the emergency powers that police can use to suppress any potential new blockades from protesters opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Jagmeet Singh, the leader of the opposing New Democratic Party (NDP), supported the extension, ensuring Trudeau had enough votes. Singh said they know there are protesters waiting in the surrounding areas of Ottawa and in the capital itself.

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(Jeff McIntosh /The Canadian Press)

“They need to be cleared out,” said Singh, who also noted there have been convoys that have been intercepted.

Trudeau said at the time that the powers were still needed, even though police cleared truckers from Ottawa over the weekend and managed to end their blockades along the U.S.-Canada border.

Trudeau has faced intense criticism for his unprecedented invocation of the 1988 Emergencies Act, which was headed to a vote in the Canadian Senate until he backed down.

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.
(David Kawai/Bloomberg)

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association said the truckers’ protests did not meet the standard for Trudeau to have invoked the Emergencies Act, which exists for “the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada” and only for actions that “cannot be effectively dealt with under any other law of Canada.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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