Manitoba border blockade to be over by Wednesday, RCMP say

Click to play video: 'Manitoba border blockade to be over by Wednesday, RCMP say'
Manitoba border blockade to be over by Wednesday, RCMP say
Manitoba RCMP is confident a deal with protesters has been reached a border blockade at the Emerson crossing should be clear Wednesday. Abigail Turner reports. – Feb 15, 2022

The Canada-U.S. border crossing at Emerson, Man., remains shut down to most traffic, but Manitoba RCMP said Tuesday afternoon that the blockade will end shortly.

“We are now confident that a resolution has been reached and that demonstrators will soon be leaving the area and that full access to the Emerson Port of Entry will be restored,” RCMP said in a statement.

“The Manitoba RCMP is coordinating the departure of the remaining demonstrators and expects that this will be completed by Wednesday.”

Earlier on Tuesday, RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre told 680 CJOB negotiators were in talks with organizers in an effort to get at least one lane open.

“People want to move on and get to other things, so I think that message is starting to get out there,” he said.

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“We’ve had a pretty good dialogue with our negotiators and the organizers there…. A lot of people are going to say, ‘Well, nothing’s changed,’ but we’ve had no violence, we’ve had no arrests, no charges, and hopefully we’re going to have a resolution soon, so to me, that’s a win.”

Manaigre said he was hopeful the blockade would end without the use of the Emergencies Act.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the act for the first time ever on Monday afternoon, as protests in Ottawa and elsewhere across the country have been ongoing for weeks, demanding an end to COVID-19 mandates and restrictions, among other issues.

“If we’re successful, (the Emergencies Act) is not something we’re going to need,” Manaigre said about his team’s negotiation efforts.

“I guess if things change, we have put contingencies into place. We’ve got all kinds of scenarios planned out. We’re ready to go depending on how the situation unfolds, but like I say, I think the dialogue is working.”

Click to play video: 'Premier Stefanson says federal Emergencies Act shouldn’t be applied in Manitoba'
Premier Stefanson says federal Emergencies Act shouldn’t be applied in Manitoba

Although concerns have been raised over Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act — which replaced the previous War Measures Act in 1988, famously used by Trudeau’s father, then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau, during the 1970 October Crisis — an Ottawa politics professor says it has a number of checks and balances baked in.

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Nomi Lazar, professor of politics at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and the author of a book on states of emergency, told 680 CJOB it’s not something the prime minister can just invoke on a whim.

The act, Lazar said, has to be voted on by Parliament, and a parliamentary review committee — including members from all parties — will be keeping a close eye on everything the government does. It also automatically triggers an inquiry after it’s used.

“Those after-the-fact accountability measures do encourage politicians to behave themselves,” said Lazar.

“We have good evidence of this kind of thing — that if they know in advance that people are going to be judging them, they behave better.

“It says very explicitly in the act that it’s meant to work together with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and with Canada’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Lazar said there’s also a possibility for judicial review, meaning if the government oversteps and violates a person’s rights — rather than justifiably limiting them — there’s recourse in the courts.

Click to play video: 'Emerson blockade impacts on economy'
Emerson blockade impacts on economy


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