Trudeau invokes emergency powers to quell protests
Why it matters: This is the first time Canada's Emergencies Act has been invoked and will give the government broad powers for 30 days, per the Guardian.
What they're saying: "After discussing with cabinet and caucus, after consultation with premiers from all provinces and territories, after speaking with opposition leaders, the federal government has invoked the Emergencies Act," Trudeau said.
- "The scope of these measures will be time-limited, geographically targeted, as well as reasonable and proportionate," he added.
Context: The act defines a national emergency as a temporary "urgent and critical situation" that "seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it,” per CBC.
The big picture: On Feb. 7, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency after 10 days of massive demonstrations protesting pandemic restrictions.
- The protests began as opposition to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers, but since expanded to include general opposition to public health restrictions and spread to other provinces.
- Protesters blocked several U.S.-Canada border crossings. The Ambassador Bridge, the busiest crossing between the two countries, reopened Sunday after police moved to clear protesters over the weekend.