Trudeau revokes Emergencies Act now that Ottawa protest over

Emergencies Act

Looking west down Wellington St. in Ottawa. The Prime Minister’s Office is on the left and Parliament Hill is on the right. Less than a week ago, the street was clogged with pick ups and trucks. Photo: Jason Leroux/APTN.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the government is revoking the Emergencies Act now that the crisis in Ottawa and Canada’s border crossings has calmed down.

Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, which replaced the War Measures Act in 1988, for the first time last week, saying police needed extra help to end blockades that had been ongoing in downtown Ottawa for weeks and had spread to key Canada-U.S. border crossings.

On Monday, Trudeau said the time-limited, extraordinary powers granted by the Emergencies Act were still needed because his government was worried about blockades returning to Ottawa and various border crossings into the United States.

Trudeau now says that order has now been restored and that while threats remain, police and existing legislation will be enough to prevent other occupations.

The House of Commons passed a motion to approve the measures under the act Monday evening, with the NDP voting in favour alongside the minority Liberal government.

The Senate began debating a motion on the act Tuesday.

Emergencies Act
A police car sits among the protesters on Wellington St. in Ottawa infront of Parliament Hill on the second weekend of the protest. Photo: APTN.

The legislation gave police the power to designate no-go zones around critical infrastructure like Parliament Hill, border crossings and bridges.

Regulations under the act also granted powers to make tow trucks into essential services, and require banks to freeze accounts of people participating directly or indirectly in the protest.

Police in Ottawa used those powers over the weekend to push demonstrators out of the core in a massive, multi-day operation.

Downtown Ottawa remains under heavy police supervision. Checkpoints throughout the core, where the parliamentary precinct and surrounding streets are fenced off, are expected to remain throughout the weekend.

According to a statement released by the RCMP, “The Integrated Command Centre comprising the Ottawa Police Service, the Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP will remain activated for an indeterminate amount of time, furthering the collaborative efforts that have taken place to date.”

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford sent out a release shortly after Trudeau’s announcement saying the province is revoking its state of emergency now that the extra measures are no longer needed.

With files from The Canadian Press

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