The federal government has invoked the Emergencies Act in an effort to bring trucker blockades to an end. Under the sweeping powers the government can freeze the individual bank accounts of the truckers and can order insurance companies to cancel their insurance. The measure now allows federal forces to be deployed, although Prime Minister Trudeau made it clear that the use of the military was not being considered. Trudeau says the measures take effect immediately pending ratification by Parliament.
Several reporters noted that some provinces do not want the federal intervention, Trudeau explained that while the Act is in place across Canada the actual enforcement will b e targeted on a case-by-case basis. “This action is limited to places where it is needed,” said Trudeau.
One of the powers that appears to be set to be used soon is the ability to compel tow truck operators to start moving rigs out of downtown Ottawa. Trudeau even hinted at bringing tow trucks in from the United States. The government is also designating and securing critical areas such as border crossings and airports
While Trudeau and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair avoided direct criticism of the effort by Ottawa Police, they made it clear that the Ottawa response was not adequate. “There will be time later to discuss the lessons we have learned from this, Trudeau said. His remarks also suggested that with the invocation of the act, all bests were off on Ottawa Mayor Jim Watsons deal with the protestors to allow more rigs near Parliament in exchange for them being removed from residential areas.