By: Thomas I. Likness
Eagle News Service
(Eagle News) —Prime Minister Justin enacted the Emergency Act Monday to give the provinces additional powers to quell the Freedom Convoy protest against COVID-19 restrictions now in its 18th day.
“We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue,” Trudeau told a news conference. “The Emergencies Act will also allow the government to make sure essential services are rendered.”
Trudeau made the move after meeting with the provincial premiers earlier today. Not all premiers are on board with the action.
He says the act will apply in geographically targeted areas, such as the Windsor-Detroit border crossing and the nation’s capital where protesters have been camping out for nearly two-and-one-half weeks.
It will remain in effect for 30 days.
As well, financial institutions will be given the authority to suspend accounts of people or organizations supporting illegal protests.
Federal police will have the authority to enforce local laws.
Trudeau says Canadians should not expect to see soldiers on the streets.
“We’re not using the Emergencies Act to call in the military,” said Trudeau. “We’re not suspending fundamental rights or overriding the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; we are not limiting people’s freedom of speech; we are not limiting freedom of peaceful assembly.”
He says people will still have the right to protest legally.
Trudeau sidestepped questions on whether calling in the military is an option should today’s measures fail.
Arrests, weapons seizures, violence in Alberta
At the Canada-U.S. border crossing on southern Alberta, police have arrested 11 people and seized a cache of weapons.
“The group was said to have a willingness to use force against the police if any attempts were made to disrupt the blockade,” RCMP said in a statement.
The guns and ammunition were discovered when police executed a search warrant this morning.
Police confiscated 13 long guns, handguns, a large quantity of ammunition and high-capacity magazines.
As well, they seized body armor and a machete.
Police also say a farm tractor and a transport truck attempted to ram a police cruiser. A police officer managed to avoid the collision.
Police have seized those vehicles and are looking for t4e driver of the transport truck.
(Eagle News Service)