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Trudeau says trucker protest threat is over, ends emergency powers and lifts freeze on bank accounts
Photo by David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Trudeau says trucker protest threat is over, ends emergency powers and lifts freeze on bank accounts

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at a media briefing Wednesday that the threat from trucker protests is over and that he was rescinding the emergency powers used to quell the occupation.

Bank accounts that were frozen to help the government tamp down the protests are also reportedly in the process of being released from the emergency action.

"We were very clear that the use of the emergencies act would be limited in time," said Trudeau.

"And today after carefully consideration, we're ready to confirm that the situation is no longer an emergency, therefore the federal government will be ending the use of the emergencies act," he added. "We are confident that existing laws and bylaws are sufficient to keep people safe."

Trudeau invoked the emergency powers on Feb. 14 after weeks of a trucker blockade that brought the city of Ottawa to a standstill as a protest against vaccine mandates. The Canadian Parliament voted on Tuesday to approve and extend the emergency powers for 30 days.

Officials said on Tuesday that they had begun lifting the freeze on bank accounts they said were being used to support the trucker blockade. Canadian Assistant Deputy Minister of Finance Isabelle Jacques said about 210 accounts were frozen with about $8 million in funds.

"The vast majority of accounts are in the process of being unfrozen, subject to any new information that the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] may have," said Jacques.

She denied that the bank account freeze was likely to affect people other than the leaders and organizers of the trucker blockade, but she admitted that it was not impossible.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association accused the Trudeau administration of abusing the powers of government and said the emergency powers should not have been used against a domestic demonstration of protest.

"The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act," the CCLU said on Feb.15. "This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the Act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met."

Here's Trudeau's comments ending emergency powers:

Trudeau revokes Emergencies Act; Inquiry into use of actwww.youtube.com

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