Feb 23, 2022 - Health

Trudeau ends emergency powers invoked to quell trucker protest

Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on Feb. 23. Photo: David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that he is revoking the emergency powers he invoked earlier this month to quell protests against the country's COVID-19 public health restrictions.

What he's saying: “Today, after careful consideration, we’re ready to confirm that the situation is no longer an emergency,” Trudeau said at a press conference. “Therefore, the federal government will be ending the use of the Emergencies Act."

  • "We are confident that existing laws and bylaws are now sufficient to keep people safe.”

The big picture: The decision to end the use of emergency powers comes after Ottawa authorities effectively ended a weekslong blockade over the weekend, arresting over 100 people participating in a protest in the capital.

  • "We did not want to keep this legislation in place one minute longer than necessary," Trudeau said during the briefing, though he observed that the protests have not ended completely.

Background: 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, with protesters blocking several U.S.-Canada border crossings.

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