Breaking Emergencies Act rules could result in five years in prison for ‘illegal’ blockade protesters

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Details of the regulations contained in two ministerial decrees concerning the law were published on Tuesday evening

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OTTAWA – Bringing children to anti-government blockades that have brought downtown Ottawa to a standstill and closed border crossings is among activities that could result in a fine of up to $5,000 or five years in prison as Canada is under the National Emergency Measures Act.

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The same penalty would apply to anyone who breaches any of the new rules, such as directly participating in protests or providing aid such as food or fuel to those involved, according to regulations released Tuesday evening which set out temporary but extraordinary powers. which result from the act.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the law Monday for the first time in Canadian history.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino told a Tuesday news conference in Ottawa that the lockdowns are “motivated by an ideology aimed at overthrowing the government” and contain elements that pose a serious threat to Security.

He pointed to Monday’s seizure of several weapons and the arrest of 13 individuals blockaded near the border in Coutts, Alberta. Mendicino said that should be a wake-up call to Canadians about “precisely what we’re dealing with here.”

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Details of the regulations contained in two Cabinet orders were released on Tuesday evening, hours after officials from the Departments of Justice and Finance, as well as the RCMP, provided a technical briefing to the media on the condition that they not are not named.

Ottawa police have repeatedly said the presence of children makes it difficult for officers to enforce the law, fearing any clashes with protesters could put children at risk. Last week, police said they believed around 100 children were living in trucks and motorhomes around Parliament Hill. The new rules prohibit anyone from transporting a minor within 500 meters of the place where an assembly deemed illegal is taking place. There are exemptions for those who live or work in the area or are there for reasons other than participating in a protest.

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The regulations also list places where blockades are not permitted, including Parliament Hill and the streets around it, known as the Parliamentary Precinct, where many federal buildings are located. Hundreds of vehicles blocked the roads there for more than two weeks.

Official residences, such as Rideau Hall, and government and defense buildings are on the list. The same is true for war memorials, such as the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa which was desecrated the first weekend convoy protesters began to take to the streets.

They also apply to airports, ports, border crossings, piers, lighthouses, canals, inter-provincial and international bridges, hospitals and COVID-19 vaccination clinics, trade corridors and necessary infrastructure. to the provision of public services, including the generation and transmission of electricity.

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An emergency economic measures order gives special powers to police, banks and insurance companies to freeze accounts and cancel car insurance belonging to people taking part in what the orders consider to be ‘unlawful assemblies’ “.

Tow companies are designated as essential and must either assist police in removing vehicles from blockages upon request, or police could seize their tow trucks to remove the vehicles themselves. The order states that anyone asked to provide essential goods and services under the Emergencies Act will be compensated at market prices.

Police in Ottawa and Windsor, Ont., say the tow operators have refused their requests, fearing retaliation from the trucking companies that supply much of their business. Windsor police turned to US towing companies to remove vehicles from the Ambassador Bridge border crossing over the weekend.

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The ministerial decree invoking the Emergency Measures Act was issued on Tuesday morning. He says the government needs temporary but extraordinary powers to end the lockdowns because they threaten Canada’s supply chains, economic security and trade relationships in an effort to achieve political or ideological goals.

This order, along with those identifying and outlining the new but temporary powers, are now in effect but must all be confirmed by motions to be put to both the House of Commons and the Senate for a vote.

The government could take until next week to table the motion invoking the law itself, but only has until Thursday to do so for motions on the specific powers that will be enacted.

They will remain in place for 30 days unless the government revokes them sooner.

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