Trudeau revokes police emergency powers after truckers clear Ottawa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revoked police emergency powers authorized last week to clear truckers protesting COVID-19 restrictions Wednesday, after officials dispersed an occupation in the nation’s capital that had lasted since January.

The move came two days after lawmakers extended measures that gave the government broad powers to restore order, including freezing bank accounts of the protestors and barring them from entering certain areas.

With convoys cleared out of streets surrounding the Canadian Parliament and traffic flowing to and from the US on Wednesday, Trudeau said the acute emergency had ended, but warned the “threat continues,” as future blockades and occupations were being planned.

“The situation is no longer an emergency, therefore the federal government will be ending the use of the emergencies act,” Trudeau said. “We are confident that existing laws and bylaws are sufficient.”

The reversal of the executive order came as “Freedom Convoy” riders from British Columbia to Nova Scotia came to symbolize populist and right-wing anger in Canada and shook the nation’s reputation for decorum.

Authorities initially did little to remove protestors as they blocked the country’s largest trade route to the US for nearly a week, stifled other border crossings and staged a rowdy month-long sit-in outside key halls of government.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Ottawa protest situation was “no longer an emergency.”
A truck convoy blocks the highway at the U.S. border crossing as demonstrators protesting against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
Demonstrators had blocked border crossings and main highways in protest over COVID vaccine mandates.
Police hang off a truck as authorities work to end a protest against COVID-19 measures in Ottawa.
The emergency powers authorized the federal government broad powers to restore order.

On Friday, police launched their largest operation in national history, arresting nearly 200 protestors and towing dozens of trucks in Ottawa.

The gleeful demonstrations inspired similar protests in France, New Zealand and the Netherlands, as copy-cat convoys were being organized in the US.

About two dozen truckers protesting pandemic restrictions began a drive from Washington DC from California Wednesday, following a rally with several hundred people in a parking lot in the Mojave Desert.

An RCMP tactical vehicle drives past the Parliament buildings.
Nearly 200 protestors were arrested in Ottawa Friday.

National defense officials were set to deploy 700 unarmed National Guard troops to assist with DC traffic control in the coming days.

With Post wires

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