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Canada’s Trudeau to use emergency powers to end demonstrations: report

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told his caucus he plans to use the Emergencies Act to handle ongoing protests in the country, according to reports. 

Sources told Canada’s CBC News that Trudeau intends to tell the premiers on Monday about his decision to invoke the act, which has never been used before.

During the meeting with the Liberal caucus on Monday, Trudeau added that there were no plans to deploy the military at this time, CBC reported.

The Emergencies Act gives the prime minister the authority to deal with public welfare, public order, international and war-related emergencies. Specifically, it allows the prime minister to “take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times,” the outlet added.

It is intended for a time of national emergency, which is defined as an “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it.”

The “Freedom Convoy” protests began as a show of opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates for truckers in Canada but have since grown into a larger protest that includes other anti-vaccine and anti-government groups. 

The protests first blocked Canada’s Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, on Feb. 7. It reopened on Sunday after authorities arrested more than two dozen protesters.

U.S. officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, have pressed their Canadian counterparts to use federal powers to bring an end to the blockades, which have disrupted cross-border trade and the auto industry in particular. 

Trudeau has previously said that his government would be willing to “respond with whatever it takes” to address the problems.

Tags Alejandro Mayorkas Justin Trudeau Pete Buttigieg

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