Trudeau discontinues Emergencies Act
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has brought an end to the Emergency Act in the country, 10 days after it was used to widen the scope of government and police authority to remove and detain ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters who had shut down a major US-Canada border crossing as well as much of Ottawa in recent weeks.
Addressing the nation on Wednesday evening, Trudeau said that the situation is "no longer an emergency." The Canadian leader referred to the expanded authority given to law enforcement, which included targeting protesters' funding, as "time-limited extra tools" that had helped the police to lift blockades plaguing downtown Ottawa.
Trudeau said he is "confident" now that "existing laws and bylaws" are "sufficient to keep people safe."
However, he appeared to signal that the federal government was ready to step in if the situation goes awry.
"We will continue to be there to support local and provincial authorities if and when needed," the PM said.
Nearly 200 people were arrested as police cracked down on the Freedom Convoy protests, with over 100 facing various charges. Organizers like Tamara Lich were also arrested last week. Lich was denied bail with the judge stating this week that her continued detention is "necessary for the protection and safety of the public."
The prime minister's decision, which takes effect on Wednesday evening, came only two days after Canadian lawmakers greenlighted the extension of the emergency powers. At the time, Trudeau said that the situation was "fragile" and still an "emergency."