Canada Extends Emergency Powers After Police Squash Freedom Convoy, Border Blockades

ΙΣΧΣΝΙΚΑ-888, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, Canada’s House of Commons voted to extend emergency powers enabling police to break up protests after a crackdown on the Freedom Convoy demonstrations over the weekend which largely dissolved the protest as well as blockades on the border with the United States.

The parliamentary chamber voted 185 to 151 to extend the powers after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for further action against the protests, which he said could re-emerge despite the crackdown, Fox News reported.

Trudeau’s government anticipates further action by protests, who object to the government’s vaccine mandate for truckers re-entering the United States from Canada.

Officials say that protesters could be waiting just outside Ottawa to re-emerge on Parliament Square, where they managed to shut down traffic for three weeks after organizing a record-smashing convoy across the country calling for an end to the mandate as well as the government’s other far-reaching COVID-19 measures.

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair noted that protesters are targeting the “lifeblood of this nation, which is trade with the United States.”

“This is an attack on our democracy. This is a group of folks who are very clearly connected to the extreme right wing, The organizers clearly have a goal in mind to undermine democracy. That’s something we can’t allow to continue,” Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party (NDP), which supports the government’s use of emergency powers, declared.

Supporters of the Freedom Convoy, however, declare that it is the Trudeau government that is attacking democracy in Canada.

In an open letter to the federal government last week, a group of Christian pastors condemned Trudeau for what they described as “tyranny” following two years of government action that included the arrest of pastors who gathered with their congregations in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions.

“For the past two years, we have sought to respectfully and peaceably make known to all levels of government our profound concern about the indefinite suspension of civil liberties, coercive mandates and perpetual state interference in the life, freedom and worship of the church – freedoms guaranteed by both our inherited Common Law tradition and Charter,” the pastors wrote.

“We have also prayed earnestly for our governing authorities, met with them, written letters and petitions, peacefully gathered for protest with other concerned citizens and in some cases filed lawsuits. We have used every lawful means at our disposal to be heard and taken seriously. Yet at every turn, we have been largely ignored, brushed aside, insulted and even told we in no way represent Canadians.”

Yet it was the reaction to the Freedom Convoy that “laid bare what we have expressed and argued for months is indeed representative of the concerns of millions of ordinary Canadians who value peace, personal responsibility and liberty.”

“These tyrannical actions are exposing this government and people to the judgment of God, and we are deeply concerned that you do not appreciate the significance of God’s wrath upon a rebellious and lawless nation,” the letter read, urging Trudeau and the government to “step back fron the brink.”

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