Canada’s Trudeau revokes Emergencies Act as protests end, order restored
Feb 24, 2022 - 07:04 AM
TRENTON, Canada (AA) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revoked the Emergencies Act on Wednesday, saying the protest blockades have ended and order has been restored.
“Today, after careful consideration, we’re ready to confirm that the situation is no longer an emergency,” Trudeau said during a press conference carried live on Canadian news websites.
“Therefore, the federal government will be ending the use of the Emergencies Act.”
As Trudeau was announcing the revocation, news broke that Ontario Premier Doug Ford was ending the state of emergency in the province.
“In alignment with the federal government, Ontario will be terminating its declaration of a state of emergency as of 5:00 p.m. today (Wednesday),” said Ford’s spokesperson Ivana Yelich.
Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act last week on a temporary basis, a few days after Ford declared the state of emergency. Both were reacting to “illegal” blockades by so-called “Freedom Convoy” protesters who set them up at various locations across Canada.
They demanded an end to all health regulations regarding COVID-19, including vaccinations.
The blockade in the downtown of Ottawa, Canada’s capital, paralyzed the city of one million, with up to 10,000 protesters and 500 big rig trucks invading the city.
City officials and police said they did not have the resources to clear out the protesters and the situation dragged on.
“The police forces did not have the tools they needed,” Trudeau said at Wednesday’s press conference.
Trudeau finally invoked the Emergencies Act and Ottawa police, bolstered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police and officers from the province of Quebec, moved in to end the three-week occupation. For the most part, police accomplished the task without violence.
Trudeau said the act could have remained in force for 30 days, but he promised it would be temporary and kept his word by revoking it Wednesday.
“That emergency is now over,” he said.
But it does not mark the end of possible repercussions.
A committee of Senators and parliamentarians will be set up to review what took place while the act was in effect and provide a report.
Trudeau said the blockade protests showed that social media is causing major upheavals in society, and foreign money that was donated to the Freedom Convoy was instigated to threaten the government of Canada and by extension the country’s democracy.
“We need to constantly work to defend and improve our democracy at home and around the world,” he said.