Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday the use of the Emergency Measures Act to end the “illegal” blockades of anti-sanitary measures protesters that have been underway in the country for more than two weeks.
“Federal government invokes Emergencies Act to complement provincial and territorial powers and deal with lockdowns and occupations”he said, adding that the army would not be deployed and that the new measures would be “limited in time and geographically”.
“The Emergency Measures Act is not something to be taken lightly”he said, but “These illegal blockades are hurting Canadians and must stop”he hammered.
Several of the 13 provincial and territorial premiers have said they are resistant to the use of this law, but Justin Trudeau explained that the measures introduced will be “targeted only where they are needed”.
With the use of this law, the Canadian government issues an order allowing Canadian financial institutions to temporarily stop providing financial services when the institutions suspect that an account is being used to further blockades and illegal occupations. Banks and other financial service providers will be able to immediately freeze or suspend an account without a court order.
Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland had a clear message for truckers who were still paralyzing downtown Ottawa: “If your truck is used, your account will be frozen and your insurance will be suspended”she said, adding that the government wanted “follow the money”.
This is the second time in peacetime that Canada has used the powers conferred by this act. Justin Trudeau’s father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, used it – when it was called the War Measures Act – during the crisis involving Quebec separatists in October 1970.