In a debate that stretched into Monday evening, NDP MP Lori Idlout outlined why she is supporting the Emergencies Act.
The Nunavut MP says the illegal blockade of Ottawa’s Parliamentary district and what it represents cannot be taken lightly.
“I’m seriously concerned about the risk and safety of Nunavummiut and Canadians,” she said. “Especially with the downplaying of what has happened in the last three weeks, especially with the extremism we have seen only downplayed to having a different point of view.
“Much of the debate surrounding the Emergencies Act is because of the illegal blockade that was dismantled this weekend.”
The vote to extend the Emergencies Act passed 185-151 with the Liberals and NDP voting for and the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois against.
Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen questioned why the act is still necessary now that the blockade is over.
“The Prime Minister reported this morning that Ottawa is clear, the trucks are gone and the borders are open but he says the emergency remains,” she said. “Can the Prime Minister tell us what is the criteria for this emergency to be declared over and on what date will he end these unprecedented and invasive measures?”
However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the act remains necessary for the time being to prevent further illegal uprisings tied to the truckers protest.
“The Emergencies Act is enabling critical measures to end these illegal blockades and prevent further occupations,” he said “We’ve heard from police chiefs, security experts and municipal and provincial leadership that it has been an essential to the response. We have been very clear that these measures will be applied only when and where necessary.”
The act now moves to the Senate for debate.
Ottawa’s downtown was definitely much quieter on Tuesday after police arrested close to 200 people and removed most of the trucks on the weekend.
Residents APTN News spoke with seemed relatively pleased the trucks, blaring horns and protesters themselves are now gone.
However, one resident did say it took her much longer to get to work due to the number of police security checkpoints still in place.