Freedom Convoy in Canada: Prime Minister Cracks Down on Rare Law
Eva Deschamps / February 15, 2022
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday the use of the Emergency Measures Act to end the illegal blockades by anti-sanitation protesters that have been underway in the country for over two weeks.
The federal government is using the Emergency Measures Act to supplement provincial and territorial powers to deal with blockades and occupations, he said, adding that the military would not be deployed and that the new measures would be limited in time and geography.
Emergency legislation is not something to be taken lightly, he said, but these illegal blockades are hurting Canadians and must stop.
Several of the 13 premiers have expressed resistance to the use of this legislation, but Justin Trudeau has explained that the measures introduced will be targeted only where they are needed.
With the use of this law, the Canadian government issues an order authorizing Canadian financial institutions to temporarily cease providing financial services when the institutions suspect that an account is being used to support blockades and illegal occupations. Banks and other financial service providers will be able to immediately freeze or suspend an account without a court order.
Canada's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland had a clear message for the truckers still paralyzing downtown Ottawa: If your truck is used, your account will be frozen and your insurance will be suspended, she said, adding that the government wanted to follow the money.
This is the second time in peacetime that Canada has used the powers of the act. Justin Trudeau's father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, used it - when it was called the War Measures Act - during the crisis involving Quebec separatists in October 1970.