Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has enacted a national emergency law to end disruptive truckers’ protests over coronavirus restrictions that have gripped Canada for several weeks — a unique and grueling move to try to bring the lingering crisis under control. He announced that on Monday.

    Under the “Emergencies Act,” a national emergency law that dates back to 1988 and has never been used before, the federal government will be given broad powers to act against truck blockages in the center of the capital Ottawa and at multiple border crossings. with the United States. Those powers are effective immediately and will last for thirty days.

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    Under the emergency law, the Trudeau government wants to enable the national police to enforce local laws, including by towing trucks. The government also wants to be able to deal more effectively with money flows to the activists, who are financed via the Internet by donors from the United States, among others, with new powers for financial institutions to freeze funds.

    “The blockades are harming our economy and endangering public safety,” Trudeau said Monday announcing the controversial move. “We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue.” It is not intended to deploy the military, he added.

    Persistent Blockages

    Canada has been dealing with the blockades for more than two weeks, which were formed after the so-called ‘freedom convoy’ by truck drivers in protest against a vaccination requirement for truckers crossing the border between Canada and the US. The protests have since resulted in ongoing blockade of Ottawa and multiple border crossings, including the Ambassador Bridge, a vital link between Windsor, Canada and the US city of Detroit that is vital for trade between the two countries.

    Although that blockade was lifted by the police over the weekend, there is a risk of a repeat. In addition, other blockades continue — most notably in Ottawa, where truckers say they won’t leave until their demands are met. They want all corona restrictions in Canada to be abolished and also demand the resignation of Trudeau.

    Residents of the capital are furious that the police have not taken action in 18 days against the noisy blockade, which is causing considerable inconvenience to them. Canada is also suffering international reputational damage as a result of the actions, with many wondering why it cannot control the anarchy on the streets of its capital.

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    The Trudeau government is now taking matters into its own hands by invoking the Emergencies Act. Although a segment of the population is behind the demonstrations, with thousands of supporters flocking to the capital every weekend to show their support for the truckers, polls have shown that 75 percent of the Canadian population believes the blockades should be lifted. ended.

    Oil on the fire

    The big question now is whether the move will solve the crisis, or whether the situation will worsen. Opponents of the measure believe that the police already have sufficient powers under regular laws to tackle violations of the law in the actions. Moreover, the move adds fuel to the fires of the protesters, who believe that Trudeau is behaving like a tyrant. Truckers in Ottawa said they would continue their campaign.

    The conservative opposition, divided over support for the “freedom convoy” backed by former US President Donald Trump and conservative media such as Fox News, criticized the move. “We want this resolved quickly and peacefully, but in a way that makes Canadians feel they have been listened to and that their prime minister respects them,” said opposition leader Candice Bergen.

    However, the federal government received support from Doug Ford, the conservative premier of the province of Ontario, which is home to both Ottawa and Windsor. „I support the federal government in the proposals to law and order back to our province, and ensure that we stabilize our business and trade as the world watches and wonders if the environment is stable here,” he said Monday.


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