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On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a public order emergency to support provinces in ending the ongoing blockades caused by truck convoy protests.
Trudeau said in a press conference that he invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada's history to give the federal government extra and "temporary" powers to handle the issue, adding the move targets to those areas in need, not the whole country.
"It is now clear that there are serious challenges to law enforcement's ability to effectively enforce the law," Trudeau said. "This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting people's jobs and restoring confidence in our institutions."
The act will ensure that essential services, such as towing services to remove trucks, are rendered, said Trudeau. It will also be used to protect critical infrastructure such as borders and airports from the blockades and the government will enable the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to enforce municipal bylaws. He dismissed the involvement of military force.
As the truck convoy organizers have secured millions of dollars from crowdfunding sites, the measures also include giving banks the power to suspend or freeze accounts of blockade supporters without a court order and force crowdfunding platforms and cryptocurrencies to follow anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws.
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said at the same event that companies with trucks involved in the illegal blockades would have their corporate bank accounts frozen and their insurance suspended.
She said that under the act, crowdfunding platforms and payment service providers must report large and suspicious transactions to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, the national financial intelligence agency.
The Emergencies Act, which replaced the War Measures Act in the 1980s, provides special powers to respond to emergency scenarios affecting public welfare (natural disasters, disease outbreaks), public order (civil unrest), and international emergencies or war emergencies.