Canada lawmakers extend emergency powers for truck protests

Virus Outbreak Canada Protests
Posted at 7:01 PM, Feb 21, 2022

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian lawmakers have voted to extend the emergency powers that police can invoke to quell any potential restart of blockades by those opposed to COVID-19 restrictions.

Lawmakers in the House of Commons voted 185 to 151 to affirm the powers Monday night.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier that the powers were still needed despite police ending the occupation of the nation’s capital by truckers over the weekend and police ending border blockades before that.

"It became clear that local and provincial authorities needed more tools to restore order and keep people safe," Trudeau said, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The emergencies act allows authorities to declare certain areas as no-go zones.

It also allows police to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts and compel tow truck companies to haul away vehicles.

The protests, which stemmed from COVID-19 restrictions, have spread from Canada to other parts of the world.

Similar protests have occurred in the U.S., Great Britain and New Zealand.