Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked emergency powers to quell trucker protests, which have been held nationwide since Jan. 28 against the government’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements. It is the first time in 34 years that the Emergency Act was invoked.
Prime Minister Trudeau held a press conference in Ottawa on Monday and announced that “illegal actions will not be tolerated. It is time to go home.” He said that all the trucks will be towed, bank accounts of the protesters frozen, apply the Anti-Money Laundering Act to crowd funding sites that have supported the protesters for investigation.
The actions have been taken based on the decision that social confusion and economic loss from the protests have reached a serious level. The Ambassador Bridge, which connects Windsor of Ontario and Detroit of Michigan, handles 30% of trade between Canada and the U.S., has been paralyzed from Feb. 7 to Feb. 13. Auto manufacturers in Detroit including General Motors and Ford have shut down as they were unable to receive parts. Canada’s Department of Finance said that the loss from the protest amounted to 390 million dollars per day.
The truck protesters, who claim themselves as the “freedom convoy,” say that the government’s forced vaccination program significantly undermines basic rights and freedom of the people. Political circles have expressed concerns that the state of emergency call may provoke the protesters and cause more dire situations. Quebec Premier Francois Legault said that the measures would not be helpful in addressing social conditions.
Eun-Taek Lee firstname.lastname@example.org