Canada Invokes Emergency Powers

On February 14, 2022, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked rarely-used emergency powers, in order to bring an end to trucker-led protests against Covid health rules.

Key Points

  • Emergency powers were invoked after police arrested 11 people with a “cache of firearms”, who were blocking a border with the United States.
  • It is only the second time in Canadian history that such powers have been invoked in peacetime.
  • Powers were invoked as hundreds of big rigs still clogged the streets of Ottawa, and two border crossings.
  • Prime Minister further said, military would not be deployed at this stage. However, authorities would be granted more powers of arresting protesters and seize their trucks to clear blockades, besides putting ban on funding of the protests.

Why emergency act invoked?

Federal government invoked the Emergencies Act for supplementing provincial and territorial capacity in order to address blockades and occupations.

When was Emergencies Act last used?

The Emergencies Act was lastly used by father of Justin Trudeau, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, during October Crisis of 1970. Troops were sent to Quebec for restoring order after kidnappings of a British trade attache & a Quebec minister, Pierre Laprte, by extremist separatists. Pierre Laprte was found strangled to death in trunk of a car.

About the protest: “Freedom Convoy”

The Freedom Convoy is a series of protests and blockades, ongoing in Canada. It was started by truckers against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions. It was originally created to protest against the “need of vaccination” for crossing the United States border. Later, it evolved into a protest about COVID-19 restrictions in general. It started on January 22, 2022 as hundreds of vehicles formed convoys from several points.

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