Home Business Trudeau Set to Defend Emergency Edict Used to End Trucker Convoy

Trudeau Set to Defend Emergency Edict Used to End Trucker Convoy

9 min read
Comments Off on Trudeau Set to Defend Emergency Edict Used to End Trucker Convoy
0
24


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to take the stand at a public inquiry into his decision to invoke emergency powers to quell a trucker-convoy protest that gridlocked Canada’s capital city and blockaded US border crossings.

Article content

(Bloomberg) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to take the stand at a public inquiry into his decision to invoke emergency powers to quell a trucker-convoy protest that gridlocked Canada’s capital city and blockaded US border crossings.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Trudeau’s testimony Friday comes on the final day of the six-week hearing that’s seen almost every senior federal government official appear, along with police officers, mayors and the convoy organizers. The inquiry was mandated by the prime minister’s emergency edict itself.

Article content

Hundreds of semi-trucks and other vehicles arrived in Ottawa on the last weekend in January to protest vaccine mandates and other public health restrictions enacted during the Covid-19 pandemic. The inquiry has heard Ottawa police expected the trucks to leave after the weekend, but instead the protesters dug in and raised millions of dollars — some in Bitcoin — through online fundraising platforms including GiveSendGo.

The protests soon spread to other locations. One offshoot shut down the Ambassador Bridge from Windsor, Ontario into Detroit, a critical trade link for the North American automotive industry. Another in Alberta blocked a US border crossing used primarily by the agriculture and other commodities sectors.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Invoking the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14 gave Trudeau’s government the power to order banks to freeze the accounts of people and companies participating in the protests, and to compel towing companies to help clear out the blockades.

Trudeau is the only prime minister to use the emergency legislation since its creation in 1988. The closest parallel in modern Canadian history was the so-called October Crisis of 1970, when his father Pierre Trudeau effectively declared martial law in response to kidnappings by Quebec separatists.

The commission has heard conflicting testimony about whether police believed the emergency powers were necessary to clear the streets. But it has also heard that Trudeau’s national security adviser Jody Thomas, the head of Canada’s intelligence agency David Vigneault and other top government officials advised him to invoke the legislation.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Michael Sabia — a former pension, telecommunications and rail executive who is the top civil servant in her department — both took the stand recently. They testified that the border blockades risked severely harming Canada’s reputation as a reliable trade partner at a time when the country was already battling US protectionism in the auto sector.

Freeland testified Thursday about her conversations with US officials, including Brian Deese, the head of the National Economic Council, and said she strongly felt Canada was facing “economic jeopardy” if the border wasn’t reopened quickly. 

“I could see, really for the first time ever, the Americans having this amber light flashing in Canada — and this amber light said to them, you know what, the Canadian supply chain could be a vulnerability,” Freeland told the inquiry. 

Both Freeland and Sabia said they were focused on finding tools that could be enacted immediately to end the blockades, and that’s what led them to believe the emergency powers were necessary. 

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Source link

Load More Related Articles
Load More By 
Load More In Business
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Pakistan govt lifts petrol, diesel prices by 35 rupees a liter

Article content Pakistan’s ministry of finance announced on Sunday petrol and diesel price…