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Canada extends emergency powers after trucker blockades ended | Canada

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Canadian lawmakers have voted to extend the federal government’s emergency powers, granting the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, powerful tools to prevent new blockades by those opposed to Covid-19 restrictions.

Despite opposition from rival Conservatives and legal challenges to the decision from civil rights groups, experts expect the decision will have little lasting damage for Trudeau.

Lawmakers in the country’s House of Commons voted 185 to 151 to affirm the powers on Monday night.

Trudeau, said earlier that the powers were still needed despite police ending the occupation of the nation’s capital by truckers over the weekend.

Trudeau noted there were some truckers just outside Ottawa who might be planning further blockades or occupations. His public safety minister said there was an attempt to block a border crossing in British Columbia over the weekend.

The Emergencies Act allows authorities to declare certain areas as no-go zones. It also allows police to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts and compel tow truck companies to haul away vehicles.

The trucker protest grew until it closed a handful of Canada-US border posts and shut down key parts of the capital for more than three weeks. But all border blockades have now ended and the streets around the Canadian parliament are quiet.

Ottawa protesters who vowed never to give up are largely gone, chased away by police in riot gear in what was the biggest police operation in the nation’s history.

While the trucks have left the Canadian capital, many have regrouped on private lands, all within an hour’s drive of Ottawa. Police said they’re “keeping tabs” on the sites over worries the could be a staging ground for renewed protest.

“The situation is still fragile, the state of emergency is still there,” Trudeau said before the vote.

On Tuesday, the movement’s lead fundraiser, Tamara Lich, was denied bail after she was arrested on Thursday night. Citing Lich’s risk of re-offending, the fact that she continued to advise others to remain on the streets in protest and the “grave” nature of her offences. Lich has been charged with counselling to commit mischief.

Pat King, an influential voice in the protest, was also in court on Tuesday to learn if he would be granted bail. King, who was arrested on Friday while live-streaming, faces four charges, including mischief, counselling to disobey a court order and counselling to obstruct police.

Mischief, a broad charge under Canadian law, could see protest leaders face the years in jail if convicted.

The opposition New Democratic Party supported it, ensuring Trudeau had enough votes. The NDP’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, said there are protesters waiting in the areas surrounding Ottawa and in the capital itself.

“This is an attack on our democracy. This is a group of folks who are very clearly connected to the extreme right wing, The organisers clearly have a goal in mind to undermine democracy. That’s something we can’t allow to continue,” he said.

Despite being the first prime minister to invoke the Emergencies Act since it was established in 1988, experts say Trudeau has a good deal of public support.

“Most people are on board with it, because most people see an occupied capital city and interrupted trade as threats to the country,” said Lori Turnbull, director of Dalhousie University’s School of Public Administration. She says many were likely surprised that gaps in existing laws fell short which allowed protesters to take control of the streets outside the seat of government.

“The government shouldn’t have to hit the panic button to be able to protect parliament.”

Turnbull says in addition to the powers to ward off further border blockades, the Emergencies Act gives officials the ability to better understand the financing behind the operation.

“We are only the tip of the iceberg and understanding the financial support that flowed into this things, both within and out of Canada. Without the Emergencies Act, they weren’t going to be able to get to the financial part of it.”

Millions of dollars quickly flowed into online fundraisers, both of which were shut down. In addition to a substantial amount of money coming in from the United States, cryptocurrencies were also donated to the protest.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said those who had their bank accounts frozen were “influencers in the illegal protest in Ottawa, and owners and/or drivers of vehicles who did not want to leave the area”, rebutting claims circulated by Conservative lawmakers that citizens who donated nominal amounts have had their accounts frozen.

The protests, which were first aimed at a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers but quickly became a venue for anger over public health restrictionsDonetsk the spread of disinformation in Canada and simmering populist and right-wing anger.

The self-styled Freedom Convoy shook Canada’s reputation for civility, inspired convoys in France, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and interrupted trade, causing economic damage on both sides of the border. Hundreds of trucks eventually occupied the streets around parliament, a display that was part protest and part carnival.

For almost a week the busiest US-Canada border crossing, the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, was blocked. The crossing sees more than 25% of the trade between the two countries.

The protests have been cheered on in the US. by Fox News personalities and conservatives including the former president Donald Trump. Millions of dollars in donations have flowed across the border to the protesters.

“A flood of misinformation and disinformation washed over Canada, including from foreign sources,” Trudeau said.

Despite a majority of Canadians disapproving of the blockade, a number of prominent Conservatives, including those vying for the party’s leadership, have spoken out in support of the protesters.

“This episode really drives home the factions and the tensions within the conservative movement,” said Turnbull. “There’s questions about whether the Conservatives who are showing support for the convoy are doing it because they think it’s the right thing, or they’re doing it because they think there’s a vote to be gotten doing that.”

As the country learns more about the intelligence failures, policing decisions and outside financing that allowed protesters to take control of the nation’s capital for weeks, Turnbull believes there could be political costs for party members who supported the protests or donated to them. “This isn’t close to over,” she said.


Canadian lawmakers have voted to extend the federal government’s emergency powers, granting the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, powerful tools to prevent new blockades by those opposed to Covid-19 restrictions.

Despite opposition from rival Conservatives and legal challenges to the decision from civil rights groups, experts expect the decision will have little lasting damage for Trudeau.

Lawmakers in the country’s House of Commons voted 185 to 151 to affirm the powers on Monday night.

Trudeau, said earlier that the powers were still needed despite police ending the occupation of the nation’s capital by truckers over the weekend.

Trudeau noted there were some truckers just outside Ottawa who might be planning further blockades or occupations. His public safety minister said there was an attempt to block a border crossing in British Columbia over the weekend.

The Emergencies Act allows authorities to declare certain areas as no-go zones. It also allows police to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts and compel tow truck companies to haul away vehicles.

The trucker protest grew until it closed a handful of Canada-US border posts and shut down key parts of the capital for more than three weeks. But all border blockades have now ended and the streets around the Canadian parliament are quiet.

Ottawa protesters who vowed never to give up are largely gone, chased away by police in riot gear in what was the biggest police operation in the nation’s history.

While the trucks have left the Canadian capital, many have regrouped on private lands, all within an hour’s drive of Ottawa. Police said they’re “keeping tabs” on the sites over worries the could be a staging ground for renewed protest.

“The situation is still fragile, the state of emergency is still there,” Trudeau said before the vote.

On Tuesday, the movement’s lead fundraiser, Tamara Lich, was denied bail after she was arrested on Thursday night. Citing Lich’s risk of re-offending, the fact that she continued to advise others to remain on the streets in protest and the “grave” nature of her offences. Lich has been charged with counselling to commit mischief.

Pat King, an influential voice in the protest, was also in court on Tuesday to learn if he would be granted bail. King, who was arrested on Friday while live-streaming, faces four charges, including mischief, counselling to disobey a court order and counselling to obstruct police.

Mischief, a broad charge under Canadian law, could see protest leaders face the years in jail if convicted.

The opposition New Democratic Party supported it, ensuring Trudeau had enough votes. The NDP’s leader, Jagmeet Singh, said there are protesters waiting in the areas surrounding Ottawa and in the capital itself.

“This is an attack on our democracy. This is a group of folks who are very clearly connected to the extreme right wing, The organisers clearly have a goal in mind to undermine democracy. That’s something we can’t allow to continue,” he said.

Despite being the first prime minister to invoke the Emergencies Act since it was established in 1988, experts say Trudeau has a good deal of public support.

“Most people are on board with it, because most people see an occupied capital city and interrupted trade as threats to the country,” said Lori Turnbull, director of Dalhousie University’s School of Public Administration. She says many were likely surprised that gaps in existing laws fell short which allowed protesters to take control of the streets outside the seat of government.

“The government shouldn’t have to hit the panic button to be able to protect parliament.”

Turnbull says in addition to the powers to ward off further border blockades, the Emergencies Act gives officials the ability to better understand the financing behind the operation.

“We are only the tip of the iceberg and understanding the financial support that flowed into this things, both within and out of Canada. Without the Emergencies Act, they weren’t going to be able to get to the financial part of it.”

Millions of dollars quickly flowed into online fundraisers, both of which were shut down. In addition to a substantial amount of money coming in from the United States, cryptocurrencies were also donated to the protest.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said those who had their bank accounts frozen were “influencers in the illegal protest in Ottawa, and owners and/or drivers of vehicles who did not want to leave the area”, rebutting claims circulated by Conservative lawmakers that citizens who donated nominal amounts have had their accounts frozen.

The protests, which were first aimed at a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers but quickly became a venue for anger over public health restrictionsDonetsk the spread of disinformation in Canada and simmering populist and right-wing anger.

The self-styled Freedom Convoy shook Canada’s reputation for civility, inspired convoys in France, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and interrupted trade, causing economic damage on both sides of the border. Hundreds of trucks eventually occupied the streets around parliament, a display that was part protest and part carnival.

For almost a week the busiest US-Canada border crossing, the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, was blocked. The crossing sees more than 25% of the trade between the two countries.

The protests have been cheered on in the US. by Fox News personalities and conservatives including the former president Donald Trump. Millions of dollars in donations have flowed across the border to the protesters.

“A flood of misinformation and disinformation washed over Canada, including from foreign sources,” Trudeau said.

Despite a majority of Canadians disapproving of the blockade, a number of prominent Conservatives, including those vying for the party’s leadership, have spoken out in support of the protesters.

“This episode really drives home the factions and the tensions within the conservative movement,” said Turnbull. “There’s questions about whether the Conservatives who are showing support for the convoy are doing it because they think it’s the right thing, or they’re doing it because they think there’s a vote to be gotten doing that.”

As the country learns more about the intelligence failures, policing decisions and outside financing that allowed protesters to take control of the nation’s capital for weeks, Turnbull believes there could be political costs for party members who supported the protests or donated to them. “This isn’t close to over,” she said.

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