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Author Topic: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act  (Read 38506 times)

Offline Rick Plant

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« on: February 15, 2022, 01:24:06 AM »
Federal government invokes Emergencies Act for first time ever in response to protests, blockades
Act grants cabinet ability to take 'special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's invoking the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada's history to give the federal government temporary powers to handle ongoing blockades and protests against pandemic restrictions.

"It is now clear that there are serious challenges to law enforcement's ability to effectively enforce the law," Trudeau told a news conference Monday afternoon.

"It is no longer a lawful protest at a disagreement over government policy. It is now an illegal occupation. It's time for people to go home."

Trudeau said the measures will be geographically targeted and "reasonable and proportionate to the threats they are meant to address."

The unprecedented deployment of the Emergencies Act gives police more tools to restore order in places where public assemblies constitute illegal and dangerous activities, such as blockades and occupations, he said. Trudeau said the act also will enable the RCMP to enforce municipal bylaws and provincial offences where required.

"This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting people's jobs and restoring confidence in our institutions," he said.

The government is also designating and securing critical areas such as border crossings and airports. Invoking the act will also allow the government to make sure that essential services — such as towing services to remove trucks — are rendered, said Trudeau.

Massive financial implications

The federal government is also going after financial support for illegal activity associated with the convoy protest.

Convoy organizers have raised millions of dollars. They raised money first through the GoFundMe crowdfunding site. When GoFundMe shut the fundraising campaign down, organizers pivoted to the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that under the Emergencies Act, crowdfunding platforms and the payment service providers they use must register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), the national financial intelligence agency. They must also report large and suspicious transactions to FINTRAC.

"The illegal blockades have highlighted the fact that crowdfunding platforms, and some of the payment service providers they use, are not fully captured under the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act," she said.

"We are making these changes because we know that these platforms are being used to support illegal blockades and illegal activity which is damaging the Canadian economy."

Canadian financial institutions can now temporarily cease providing financial services if the institution suspects an account is being used to further the illegal blockades and occupations, said Freeland.

"This order covers both personal and corporate accounts," she said.

Measures still subject to Charter of Rights

The Emergencies Act, which replaced the War Measures Act in the 1980s, defines a national emergency as a temporary "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 act gives special powers to respond to emergency scenarios affecting public welfare (natural disasters, disease outbreaks), public order (civil unrest), international emergencies or war emergencies.

It grants cabinet the ability to "take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times" to cope with an "urgent and critical situation" and the resulting fallout. It is still subject to the protections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Ottawa police have said they are outnumbered by crowds protesting vaccine mandates in the capital. Despite a provincial state of emergency, protesters ignored the threat of arrest and jail time and flocked to the city's centre over the weekend.

Demonstrators have erected tents, a stage, a large video screen and even a hot tub on various streets — including Wellington Street, which runs in front of the Parliament Buildings and the Prime Minister's Office.

Ottawa police said "safety concerns" — including "aggressive, illegal behaviour" by demonstrators — are to blame for the "limited police enforcement capabilities."

A blockade of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont., a key supply link between Canada and the U.S., was dispersed by police earlier Sunday, with 12 arrests.

"Occupying streets, harassing people, breaking the law. This is not a peaceful protest," said Trudeau, who added there are no plans to deploy the military.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« on: February 15, 2022, 01:24:06 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2022, 06:18:54 AM »
Canadian conservatives want nothing to do with the 'impotent rage' of anti-vax truckers: reporter

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have prompted the truckers protesting the vaccine mandates for their industry. Over 80 percent of the truckers are vaccinated, so the protesters are part of not just the minority, but the fringe of a minority. In Canada, however, these truckers are radically unpopular, even among conservatives.

Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, Canadian reporter Stephen Marsh explained that the conservative politicians dipped their toes in the debate, but quickly pulled out because Canadians are furious with the truckers clocking their streets and creating noise all through the night.

The emergency measures that the leaders are enforcing now came from a 1970 response to Quebec terrorism and hasn't been used since.

"It's extremely severe," Marsh explained. "The government is going to suspend people's accounts without court orders. You're going to be able to use the military, and it is a very dramatic moment where essentially the powers that be are saying the police and the ordinary course of democracy require backing up by the military. That's not something you ever want to see happen in your country."

Meanwhile, in the United States, far-right conservative anti-vaccine activists have been aghast that somehow the rights of these truckers are being violated. However, with the overwhelming majority of Canadians, it's their own rights that are being trampled by these truckers, like the right to get to work or the right to sleep without people laying on their car horns all night outside your window.

Marsh said that after speaking to the protesters, he learned that they have no real organizational structure or political program.

"It's just disruption for its own sake," he said. "I think it is nothing more than a temper tantrum. Their political goals is the end of all public health mandates and Canada. It's never going to happen. The resignation of Justin Trudeau. I saw a lot of impotent rage. And of course, it's become very clear, recently, that a lot of this is just political spillover from the United States and the toxicity of American discourses sort of taken a foothold in Canada. It's very ugly."

Trudeau may be the villain of the far-right in the U.S. but in Canada, Marsh said he'd be elected in a landslide.

"What's become very clear recently as just how foreign this is," he continued. "Less than 30 percent of the funding for this has come from Canadian sources. The border guards have been turning away truckers from the United States that are coming in. A huge amount — obviously the rhetoric is largely American. It really did get to a point where you are seeing foreign interference in Canadian domestic politics and crippling economies. But also destroying the lives of ordinary citizens in neighborhoods in Ottawa, who've been able to unable to put their children to sleep for two weeks. The Canadian people's tolerance is over. The patience has worn thin. It's over now."

He explained that a "very few" conservatives "flirted" with the idea of supporting the truckers in the way that Cruz, Hawley and Paul have. They have now all backed away from it.

"It is massively unpopular. Also, I think that is sort of unfair. I think Canadian conservatives have really kept their integrity and kept their decency and they do not want disorder for disorder's sake. Certainly, it is definitely true that -- Ted Cruz has way more insidious than any Canadian conservative politician, certainly, someone like Doug Ford in Ontario has taken very firm steps to disrupt the financial networks of this group. I think it would be fair to say that Canadian conservatives are opposed to this. In a broad sense. I think that's something that actually is very important for our country. Very important."

See the discussion below:

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2022, 01:36:31 PM »
These illegal blockades was Canada's version of our 1/6 insurrection where these fascist right wingers wanted to take down Canada's government. Phony preacher Artur Pawlowski was calling for violence and he has ties to anti American traitors like Micheal Flynn and Eric Trump. Not to mention the right wing media was promoting this as well as the instigators of 1/6 who helped to fund it. Hopefully the judge denies this terrorist bail.

Controversial Calgary preacher incited violence in Coutts, prosecutor alleges at bail hearing

RCMP have laid charges under Alberta's Critical Infrastructure Defence Act against a controversial street preacher who is being blamed for extending the blockade at the Coutts border crossing.

Artur Pawlowski of Calgary was arrested Monday after he gave a speech last week at the Smugglers Saloon in Coutts, where protesters have been blocking travel to the United States on and off since Jan. 29.

Although the situation is ever-changing, as the bail hearing took place Wednesday afternoon, traffic in both directions was impeded as protesters continue to demand an end to vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers, as well as the lifting of other pandemic-related public health restrictions.

Pawlowski is charged with two criminal offences including mischief over $5,000 as well as interrupting the operation of essential infrastructure in a manner that renders it inoperative.

Since his arrest Monday, Pawlowski's supporters have raised $26,000 for his release and legal fees.
On Feb. 3, protesters made a deal to leave the border crossing and head to Edmonton.

That day, Pawlowski gave what prosecutor Steven Johnston called an "impassioned" 20-minute speech to protesters. He told them not to give up and said there were not enough RCMP officers to deal with the situation.

"Less than two hours after reaching a deal to end the blockade and take it to Edmonton, truckers changed their minds," said Johnston in arguing Pawlowski should be denied bail.

'An overt threat to violence'

A video of the speech posted online shows Pawlowski telling the crowd that "for freedom to be preserved, people must be willing to sacrifice their lives. This is our time."

"If this is our Alamo, then so be it," he said.

Johnston called Pawlowski's words an "overt threat to violence."

"After the speech, Mr. Pawlowski got into his BMW and drove to Calgary, leaving the protesters behind," said the prosecutor.

Bail decision next week

Details of Pawlowski's alleged crimes come from a bail hearing that took place in Lethbridge on Tuesday before provincial court Judge Erin Olsen, who reserved her decision after hearing submissions from Johnston and defence lawyers Chad Haggerty and Sarah Miller.

Protesters have been at the land border for 12 days with on-and-off blockades, making travel between the United States and Canada impossible at times.

The blockades have stranded travellers and cross-border truckers and cost millions of dollars in trade.

But Haggerty argued his client is not responsible for the blockades.

"At no time did [Pawlowski] tell them to block the roads, he told them to remain and protest," Haggerty in arguing for his client's release.

Maximum penalty is 6 months in jail, $10K fine

The RCMP has not yet responded to a request for information on whether Pawlowski is the first person to be charged under the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act in connection with the Coutts protests.

The new legislation is controversial and has been criticized as unfairly targeting Indigenous people.

The legislation was introduced in Alberta in 2020 against the backdrop of protests involving the blockade of rail lines, commuter train routes and roadways in solidarity with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs' opposition to the construction of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline through their northern B.C. territory.

The act allows for penalties and jail time for anyone who blocks, damages or protests at "essential infrastructure."

If Pawlowski were to be convicted, he could face a fine of up to $10,000 plus six months in jail.

'Ink not yet dry' on previous police contact

Pawlowski has been in trouble with police throughout the pandemic, at times being arrested within days of his release on other charges.

"The ink was not yet dry," said Johnston of Pawlowski's arrest Tuesday after being charged with causing a disturbance at a Shoppers Drug Mart within the last several weeks.

Last month, Pawlowski and his brother were arrested after a protest outside the health minister's house in Calgary. They were charged with breaching a judge's order that restrained them from attending any illegal public gathering.

Last May, the brothers were charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal gathering, as well as promoting and attending the gathering.

In October, a judge fined the brothers and put them on probation.

As part of their probation conditions, the judge ruled that if the pandemic-denying, anti-mask leaders continued to preach to their followers, they must also present the perspective of medical experts. The Court of Appeal of Alberta later temporarily blocked that order.

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2022, 01:36:31 PM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2022, 01:47:07 PM »
Canadian MAGA pastor arrested as he returns home after spreading Covid lies in US

Canadian MAGA pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested on the tarmac of Calgary International Airport as he returned home after spreading lies about Covid-19 in the US over the course of four months.

The controversial conservative preacher was taken into custody on Monday afternoon. He was charged with contempt of court for an alleged violation that occurred on 5 June. His lawyer Sarah Miller told Global News that she didn’t have any information about the incident.

Mr Pawlowski was arrested in May along with his brother Dawid Pawlowski for organising, promoting, and attending an illegal gathering. They arranged church services that didn’t follow mask and social distancing rules. Both of them were found guilty of contempt in June after purposefully disregarding Covid-19 mandates.

Alberta Health Services asked during a sentencing hearing earlier in September that Mr Pawlowski be sent to prison for 21 days and that his brother be jailed for 10 days. The court was also asked to fine the controversial conservative pastor $2,000 and exact $15,000 in costs, Global News reported. A ruling from the court is expected on 13 October.

Mr Pawlowski made several appearances on Fox News and also spent time with Eric Trump, son of former President Donald Trump.

Pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested today at the airport in Calgary, after he returned from a 4 month tour of the US, where he was a darling of MAGA media. He spent every day in the US spreading lies and vaccine conspiracies on TV and speeches around the US. He has repeatedly violated court orders. Here he is two weeks ago with Eric Trump.

Of course, he also made several appearances on Fox.

He also met with General Michael Flynn, Mr Trump’s first national security adviser.

“I am here before this court as a political prisoner of conscience,” Mr Pawlowski said in a statement during a sentencing hearing on 14 September.

He claimed that Alberta Health Services and the “politicians have found a new way of penalising anyone that is opposing their unconstitutional medical tyranny. They hate the idea that they have been exposed for what they really are: liars, hypocrites and cheaters”.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2022, 02:07:42 PM »
These anti American Qanon quacks took part in the 1/6 insurrection and are the same nuts that worship Criminal Donald. These Qanon anti vaxxers are keeping this pandemic going and also happen to be the same loons who go to Dallas waiting for JFK and JFK Jr. to arrive back from the dead. Canada has their own version of these types of religious white supremacist radicals with fake preacher Artur Pawlowski leading the way. All these right wing fascists have united to destroy democracy and the governments in Canada and the United States.       

From appearing alongside Steve Bannon to rubbing shoulders with QAnon podcasters, Artur Pawlowski has spent months in the United States on the right wing speaker’s circuit. Now, after another very public arrest, he’s back in the spotlight.

Upon returning to Canada from his tour of the United States, founder of Calgary’s Street Church Artur Pawlowski was arrested moments after stepping out of the private aircraft he used to cross the border.

The pastor’s return home marks the end of over three months in the US growing ever closer to prominent figures within the QAnon and larger COVID conspiracy movement.

An avid spreader of COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs himself, Pawloski has been rubbing shoulders with those with a much larger audience that have only served to boost his profile. After a much-publicized arrest along what appears to be an Alberta collector road, as well as banshee-style yelling of “get out Nazis” at public health officials who entered his church to enforce public health measures earlier this year, Pawlowski drew the attention to the American Christian far-right.

Video of the second arrest (which took place on an airport tarmac) immediately made Rebel News -- who had a correspondent on scene outside the airport -- as well as across far-right spaces on both sides of the border.

The arrest may not have come as a complete surprise to Pawlowski, who said the day before his departure that he would see his supporters tomorrow, “hopefully without shackles and handcuffs, but may God’s will be done.”

Calgary police confirmed the arrest to Global News.

“The charges are for officiating a church service and for not wearing a mask,” Pawlowski said in an emailed response to questions from the Canadian Anti-Hate Network. The Calgary Police Service did not return requests for comment by time of publication, but according to the CBC, he was charged with disobeying a court order and failing to wear a mask.

Pawlowski and his brother Dawid Pawlowski were found guilty of contempt of court and breaking COVID restrictions, after being arrested for holding and promoting illegal gatherings in May. When the decision was handed down, however, the pastor was already touring the United States, appearing at events hosted by FEC United, an American religious group recently founded by Joe Oltmann and boasts its own militia.

United American Defence Force was responsible for the Patriot Muster Rally in October 2020. During this event, a private security guard hired to protect journalists shot and killed a rally participant who attacked him with pepper spray. Oltmann laid his disdain for the media bare, making unsubstantiated claims that members of “antifa” were in fact posing as journalists.

“We’ve been de-masking antifa members that are actually acting as journalists … So the next thing we’re doing because of that is that we are going to start demasking so people in the community know who they are… You want to know what it looks, like who want to take this country away.”

He followed up with a threat toward journalists who publish unfavourable coverage.

“We’re coming for you. I hope they’re watching. I hope all of them are watching, including the one who tried to sneak in here. If you’re part of the media and you write something bad about us, better take your byline off it.”

FEC United did not respond to previous requests for comment.

It is not clear if the previous cases were why Pawlowski was taken into custody. In a segment widely shared online of Steve Bannon’s online show “War Room,” the Executive Director of the Coalition to Defend America, Cindy Chafian, said that the charges were new and unrelated to previous cases.

FEC United’s “Courageous Faith” tour managed to net Pawlowski a spot on Steve Bannon’s online show War Room, a meeting with SPLC-designated hate group MassResistance’s founder Arthur Schaper in Los Angeles, and a video featuring both Pawlowski and his son with former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, Michael Flynn.

Flynn specifically has become a central figure in the QAnon movement, even headlining a Q conference in Dallas, Texas in May.

This would not be the last time Flynn and Pawlowski would find themselves in close proximity, as an event held days before the return flight to Canada would advertise both men among their speakers. The “Reawaken America” tour in Colorado Springs, CO, came forward with a menagerie of different speakers including Flynn, Pawlowski, FEC United’s Joe Oltman, and numerous others.

Organized by podcast host Clay Clark, “Reawakening America” is a rolling show of medical and COVID disinformation, just one of a few tours organized by Clark giving a platform to numerous far-right talking heads and questionable medical professionals. Flynn has appeared at many of the events and recently went on Clark’s show to claim that there was talk about putting vaccines into salad dressing -- surprisingly, this appears to not be true.

These are hardly the only fringe figures Pawlowski has come into contact with while in the United States. During another “Health & Safety” event organized by Clark in Tampa, Florida, he delivered a sermon to a crowd about how they were engaged in a new civil rights movement.

During this conference, as noted by Media Matters’ Alex Kaplan, Pawlowski responded to the signature QAnon phrase “where we go one we go all,” with a simple “amen.”

There is also a movie allegedly in the works based around Pawlowski’s life and struggles, according to a video posted on YouTube by the pastor. After attending an Arizona conference featuring Eric Trump, he posted a video of a meeting with Mike Smith, a former Hollywood stunt man and creator of the film “Out of Shadows,” which purports to be a documentary exposing the satanic pedophilia of the major film industry.

“I’ve never seen more lions in a Savannah, and you know I work in Africa, than in the [United States],” Pawlowski said, introducing Smith to his audience. He added that the director was cooking some more stuff for the glory of God this time, not for the glory of Hollywood or the devil.”

Pawlowski is best known as a hate preacher based out of Calgary, Alberta and runs the Cave of Adullam, also known as Street Church, a far-right, anti-2SLGBTQ+ religious space. Since 2005, Pawlowski has become known for holding loud outdoor events in which he feeds the houseless population while proselytizing his specific, and bigoted, brand of religion. In more recent years, he, along with his brother, have become fixtures in the far-right protest movement.

His hate is primarily directed at the 2SLGBTQ+ community, by holding protests and disrupting Pride events. When asked for comment about his views towards LGBTQ people, Pawlowski said that “regarding the homosexual sin, I love everyone regardless of their sin. Everyone has fallen short of the glory of God created him or her for a purpose. Just because I disagree with someone’s preferences or life choices does not mean that I wish them ill or I hate them.”

Despite these sentiments, in 2013 he blamed flooding in Alberta on the 2SLGBTQ+ community: “(God) is weeping for the perversions of homosexuality which includes the walking out the pride of their abominations in the streets of our cities.”

Pawlowski also organized a protest featuring anti-LGBTQ activist Bill Whatcott in 2017. In 2018 Pawlowski called Whatcott a “Christian freedom fighter” when he was charged with promoting hate at a Toronto Pride event.

On his website, Pawlowski wrote, “This was a Church vigil called ‘In Defence of Christianity’ Thouse [sic] homofascists and antifa-fascists just proved our point that there is a need to defend Christianity in this Godless and perverted nation!”

PressProgress reported that same year that Pawlowski’s website stated that homosexuals are “not ashamed to declare the name of their master (Satan) and in the same way not concerned with provoking greatly the wrath of the Living God.”

In 2019 Pawlowski vocally objected to a rainbow crosswalk in Calgary. According to CBC, "This is a lie from the pit of hell, perverted symbol that God has given to us.… They are using it to laugh at God, to shake their fingers at God saying, 'we don't care about your law, we don't care about you,’” Pawlowski said in a video on Facebook.

Pawlowski also targets the Muslim community. Another 2013 post authored by Pawlowski states, “those Muslims and their message is un-Canadian."

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2022, 02:07:42 PM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2022, 02:18:17 PM »
Canada trucker protest - live: Convoy rolls back after historic Trudeau threat and donors exposed by hackers
The Canadian government has threatened to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts

A “complex” and “multi-day” operation has begun to clear “freedom convoy” truckers from streets south of Canada’s parliament building following an agreement between city authorities and protest organisers.

MayorJim Watson confirmed on Monday night that “convoy leaders have started to act on their commitment to move several trucks from the residential district south of Wellington (Street)”, after more than two weeks of protests.

It comes after Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau declared a rare national public order emergency in a bid to end the trucker protest, which stretches into a third week.

The Emergencies Act allows his administration to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts, suspend the insurance on their rigs and also tow away vehicles. Mr Trudeau has however ruled out using the military to restore order amid concerns from Canada’s Civil Liberties Association.

For over two weeks, thousands of protesters in trucks and other vehicles have clogged the streets of Ottawa and blocked various US-Canadian border crossings. The most important trade route — the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit — was reopened on Sunday.

Ottawa wakes up to Emergency Powers Act

Protesters who have been camping in front of the Canadian Parliament for more than two weeks still want prime minister Justin Trudeau to meet with them, reports say, after his administration invoked emergency powers to end the “freedom convoy”.

Ontario, a Canadian province which declared a state of emergency last week, backed the move. But premiers in Alberta, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan opposed the plan, with Quebec’s premier Francois Legault describing the development as risk of putting “oil on the fire.”

“It’s an extreme measure that isn’t necessary,” said protester Candice Chapel when asked about the news by Reuters on Monday. Her fellow protesters have meanwhile agreed to leave residential streets south of Canada’s parliament building, the mayor has said.

Hackers reveal 90,000 donors of ‘freedom convoy'

Hackers have released details of the more than 90,000 donations made to Canada’s “freedom convoy” protesters, who were removed from mainstream fundraising platform GoFundMe more than a week ago for violating the platform’s terms.

Supporters instead sent money to truckers through GiveSendGo, a website that has now been taken down after “hacktivists” from the group Anonymous exposed those who have been funding the Canadian protests against a Covid mandate.

Data seen by The Guardian and others on Monday shows that of majority of donations made on GiveSendGo were from the US – although more money was raised in Canada. The funds total more than $8m.

Donations were also allegedly made by individuals in countries including the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland – as well as those with .gov email addresses. That suggests some employees of the US government could have donated to Canada’s “freedom convoy”.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to end funding sources for the truckers after invoking the rarely used Emergencies Act on Monday, allowing his government to freeze bank accounts as well as tow away vehicles.

Ambassador condemns ‘civil liberties suspended’ claims

Canadian diplomat and ambassador to the United Nations Robert Keith Rae was among those defending prime minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to invoke the Emergencies Act against anti-Covid mandate truckers.

Tweeting about the development on Monday night, Mr Rae criticised a New York Times headline suggesting Canada’s government had suspended civil liberties.

“Correction: An earlier tweet incorrectly suggested that Trudeau would temporarily suspend civil liberties,” the New York based outlet later wrote. “We deleted the incorrect tweet.”

Mr Trudeau has promised to end funding streams for the protesters and to boost policing in Ottawa after nearly three weeks of occupation of streets around the Canadian parliament. He added that the emergency powers would be used geographically and are time limited.

Truckers agree to leave residential areas, mayor says

Ottawa mayor Jim Watson says truckers will begin relocating from residential areas south of Wellington Street and the parliamentary precinct, more than two weeks after Canadian truckers blocked streets around Canada’s parliament.

Mayor Watson said “the convoy leaders have started to act on their commitment to move several trucks from the residential district south of Wellington,” and the operation would take a number of “days”.

It comes after reports on Sunday that mayor Watson had reached an agreement with protesters to relocate away from residential areas, which was initially rebuked by leaders of the so called “freedom convoy”.

Ottawa’s downtown is located south of the Wellington thoroughfare, and is home to both local businesses and residents.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has meanwhile granted the City of Ottawa's request “for an injunction with respect to the protest”, the mayor said. That will likely lead to further arrests.

ICYMI | Truckers are having ‘significant direct impacts on citizens’ lives, says Psaki

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the convoy of Canadian truckers that have occupied parts of Ottawa pose a significant economic risk.

Ms Psaki said president Joe Biden and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau spoke about the convoy of truckers that are protesting against Covid-19 vaccine mandates.

“The two leaders agreed that the actions of the individuals who are obstructing travel and commerce between our two countries are having significant impact on citizens’ lives and livelihoods,” she said.

'The president expressed his concern that United States companies and workers are experiencing serious effects including slowdowns in production, shortened work hours and plant closures’.

Biden says opposing mask mandates isn’t freedom

United States president Joe Biden dismissed the idea that refusing to take steps to inhibit the spread of Covid-19 was a matter of “personal freedom” in an interview airing Sunday with the Super Bowl.

“If your exercising personal freedom puts someone else in jeopardy, their health in jeopardy, I don’t consider that being very, dealing with freedom,” Mr Biden told NBC’s Lester Holt.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2022, 01:51:43 PM »
Hot tubs, hapless police and a bridge too far for Canada’s Trudeau

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Frustration with the failure of Canadian police to lift blockades at the border and in the capital, along with scenes of protesters lounging in hot tubs near Parliament, ultimately drove Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to seek emergency powers, three sources said on Tuesday.

Trudeau on Monday invoked the little-used Emergencies Act, signaling the federal government was taking control of a situation local and provincial police have struggled to resolve as protests against pandemic restrictions dragged on.

Discussions on invoking the rarely used powers first began on Thursday as the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, a key U.S.-Canada trade artery between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, entered its third day, two of the sources, who are familiar with the discussions, said.

"The Windsor police kind of let it happen," one of the sources said. All requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation. Windsor police asked for more resources, which the province provided.

The bridge blockade led to the temporary shutdown of several car plants before police finally cleared it on Sunday after six days, and after a concerned call from U.S. President Joe Biden to Trudeau.

Meanwhile, protesters who had paralyzed parts of Ottawa since Jan. 28 were getting more entrenched, and there was growing concern about the presence of "nefarious elements" among the protesters. Police in Alberta later seized guns and ammunition from a group linked to a border protest.

"The prime minister was quite mad," said a government source, referring to a Thursday meeting of the federal Incident Response Group, made up of Trudeau's top advisers. "He said we need to get out in front of this."

"He was demanding solutions" at the meeting, a third source familiar with the matter said, adding Trudeau was saying: "Let's put everything on the table and say, what are the good ideas here?"

The third source said the government realized last week that "enforcement wasn't happening" after initially waiting to see how provincial authorities and local police responded.

"He also needed to know fully that ... we have given it enough time for it to work or not work, or partially work, and think about what more we need to do," the source said. "He didn't want to jump ahead of things that were happening."

Ottawa police initially said their objective was to de-escalate. Later they asked both the provincial and federal governments for more resources, saying they were outnumbered.

The addition of chaotic scenes from Ottawa on the weekend, including hundreds of residents turning out to block another convoy from joining the protesters, proved too much, two of the sources said.

Police stood by as protesters bathed in a hot tub and partied into the night directly in front of parliament and below the prime minister's office.

"This past weekend in Ottawa really drove some people over the edge, the hot tub, the stage, and ... the impotence of the police to do something about it," the source said.

Police chief Peter Sloly resigned on Tuesday amid criticism of his force's performance, city officials said on Tuesday.

The Ottawa protest involves some 360 trucks and vehicles, several hundred protesters, and a large cache of funds from donors in the United States and Canada.

"If you're asking for one factor, it was Ottawa ... the Ottawa situation is completely out of control. We just went through a third weekend of no enforcement," said the second source.

Concerns that protesters may re-occupy border crossings and disrupt crucial trade flows with the United States and affect publicly safety also factored into the decision, the sources said.

Another factor was the specter of violence when police in Alberta on Monday arrested 11 people and seized guns and ammunition.

"There are organized nefarious elements that are involved with these things," said the second source, citing the Alberta gun seizure.

"There's an element here that is ... trying to subvert the normal course of our democracy, which has to be protected, regardless of who's the government," the third source said.

"That's really the difference between this and other protests that we've seen."

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
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Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Invokes The Emergencies Act
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2022, 11:33:36 PM »
Police issue warning to protesters to leave Canada capital

Canadian police on Wednesday warned demonstrators opposed to Covid rules who have clogging Ottawa streets for nearly three weeks to leave or face possible arrest, fines and seizures of their trucks.

Federal authorities, meanwhile, negotiated a peaceful end to the last of several recent blockades by protesters of border crossings between Canada and the United States.

"You must leave the area now," Ottawa police said in a notice distributed to truckers outside parliament.

Anyone blocking streets or assisting others in doing so will be arrested and face charges, the statement said.

Police also warned that anyone charged or convicted for taking part in the illegal demonstration may, in addition to criminal penalties, be barred from traveling to the United States.

As the notices were handed out, AFP journalists saw hundreds of trucks continuing to occupy streets in the parliamentary precinct, intermittently honking horns -- despite an extension Wednesday of a court order against the deafening noises, obtained by an area resident fed up with the disruptions.

"We're still a lot of trucks holding the line," trucker David Shaw, 65, told AFP. If arrested, he added: "I'll keep coming back."

Fellow Trucker Jan Grouin, 42, decried Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision earlier this week to impose a state of emergency, calling it "a little overreacting maybe to think that we are terrorists."

'Time for this to end'

Unable to dislodge the protesters, Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, which gives the government wide new powers to end their weeks-long protest over Covid restrictions. The move marked only the second time in Canadian history such emergency powers have been invoked in peacetime.

Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday that with police now getting help from various other law enforcement units, they should now "be able to begin their actions."

"It's time for this to end," he said, adding that it was up to "police to decide when and how."

On Tuesday, Ottawa's interim police Chief Steve Bell said a "turning point" has been reached.

"I believe we now have the resources and partners to bring a safe end to this occupation," he said.

Ball replaced chief Peter Sloly who abruptly resigned after facing intense criticism over his failure to dislodge the protesters.

The so-called "Freedom Convoy" started with truckers protesting against mandatory Covid vaccines to cross the US border, but its demands have since grown to include an end to all pandemic health rules and, for many, a wider anti-establishment agenda.

At its peak, the movement also included blockades of a half dozen border crossings -- including a key trade route across the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit.

Dozens of protesters were arrested and several vehicles seized during police operations at the border, and in Coutts, Alberta federal police charged four people with conspiracy to murder police officers. They were among 13 arrested with a cache of weapons that included rifles, handguns, body armor and ammunition.

On Wednesday, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Paul Manaigre said the last blocked crossing -- between Manitoba and the US state of North Dakota -- would be open soon, after protesters agreed to leave.

"In a short time they'll be on their way," Manaigre told reporters. "The outcome is what we wanted. No one got hurt. We have a highway that's going to open, and trade can resume."

© 2022 AFP