Trudeau invokes Emergencies Act to ‘freeze their money.’ ‘compel’ Tow Operators To Remove Vehicles


Trudeau invokes Emergencies Act for countrywide blockades

Trade between Canada and the United States was poised to return to normal after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act, giving local authorities greater tools to keep stubborn supporters of the “Freedom Convoy” from blocking border crossings.

Minister Chrystia Freeland said the blockades in Windsor disrupted $390 million in trade each day, while in Coutts, Alta. and Emerson, Man., $48 million and $73 million, respectively, have been affected on a daily basis.

Freeland announced a series of emergency measures to halt any funding flowing in to assist protesters and blockades. Banks will be given the authority to review accounts of those they suspect to be part of the blockades and freeze their money. Crowdfunding platforms and cryptocurrency platforms will now have to report any suspicious or large transactions to authorities, as banks currently have to.

Invoking the Emergencies Act gives the federal government short-lived powers to limit civilian travel, use or dispose of property, manage the provision of essential services such as policing to fine or imprison people, according to a memo on the federal website. It does not mean that the prime minister will deploy the military to shut down the protests, an extreme response that he’s described as a “last resort.”

By way of example, Trudeau said finding willing tow-truck operators to remove the rigs that are barricading the crossings in Coutts and Emerson has slowed the response; now, local authorities can compel any towing company with a government contract to help clear away the vehicles that are clogging the border, the prime minister said.

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