Public/Global Health

Trudeau says emergency powers still needed after Canadian blockades end

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said emergency powers are still needed as authorities end border blockades amid a trucker convoy protest of COVID-19 restrictions, The Associated Press reported

Speaking on Monday, Trudeau said some demonstrators are already planning further blockades along the border, adding his public health minister said there was a report of an effort to block a border crossing in British Columbia over the weekend. 

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

Trudeau also said Ottawa residents were harassed for weeks throughout the duration of the protests, adding billions of dollars in trade were stalled by the border blockades, putting people’s jobs at risk, according to the AP. 

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

“After these illegal blockades and occupations received disturbing amounts of foreign funding to destabilize Canada’s democracy, it became clear that local and provincial authorities needed more tools to restore order.”

This comes as Canada’s Parliament will vote Monday night to allow authorities to continue to use emergency powers, with Trudeau getting enough votes to pass the proposed legislation as opposition New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh said his party will support it, the AP reported. 

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

Demonstrators, most being truck drivers, spent weeks protesting against Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers and prior COVID-19 restrictions, blocking major U.S.-Canadian highways for trade transportation. 

Prominent conservative figures in the U.S. such as former President Trump and several Fox News media personalities have shown their support of the demonstrations, as millions of donations were made to benefit protesters as well, the AP noted.

Tags anti-vaccine protest blockade Canada covid-19 restrictions Donald Trump emergency powers Freedom Convoy Justin Trudeau Ottawa

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