Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared a national public order emergency under 1988 Emergency Act to end the truckers’ protest popularly known as ‘Freedom Convoy’ against vaccine mandates and Covid-restrictions. The declaration will remain in place for 30 days.
As per the resources, it will allow the government to take necessary steps like freezing protesters’ bank accounts, removing the blockade of trucks, and banning demonstrations that go beyond lawful protest.
As per the order, banks and financial institutions will be required to review their relationships with anyone involved in an illegal blockade and report them. They’ll have the authority to stop providing services to those suspected of using their accounts to help the protesters and to freeze accounts without getting a court order.
PM Trudeau has used these rarely used emergency powers to quell the protests citing that it has shut some border crossings and paralyzed parts of the capital.
“The blockades are harming our economy and endangering public safety. We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue,” he said in a conference.
The police cleared a blockade at Ambassador Bridge, a vital trade route to Detroit which handles approximately 25 percent of trade with the United States, on Sunday.
The power has been invoked for the second time in Canadian history. It was first used by Justin’s father, then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, in 1970 during a terror crisis in Quebec.
Emergency Act Powers Include
- Prohibit public assembly
- Prohibit travel, and
- Prohibit the use of specific property.
However, PM Trudeau has mentioned that there will be no military involvement for now and it would be a last resort.
11 Arrested With Cache Of Firearms At Truckers Protest
The police had also arrested 11 people with a “cache of firearms” blocking a border crossing with the United States. They allegedly had rifles, handguns, body armor and ammunition at the border between Coutts, Alberta and Sweet Grass, Montana.
“The group was said to have a willingness to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade,” stated Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Tightened Anti-Money Laundering Rules To Choke Off Cash Flow
The Canadian government has also been planning to widen its anti-money laundering rules to cover crowdsourcing like GoFundMe, GiveSendGo which are used to funnel donations for the protests.
“This is about following the money. This is about stopping the financing of these illegal blockades,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
“Owners of trucks that are being used in the protests will see their corporate accounts frozen and their insurance suspended. Send your semi-trailers home. The Canadian economy needs them to do legitimate work,” she added.
Why Truckers Are Striking In Canada?
The “Freedom Convoy” protests are staged against Covid-19 vaccinate-or-quarantine mandate for cross-border drivers. The mandate requires truckers to either get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when crossing the U.S. Canadian border or quarantine for two weeks.
Now, the protesters have been protesting against everything from vaccine mandate to carbon tax.