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Trudeau to revoke Emergencies Act after convoy blockades end

Click to play video: 'Trudeau revokes Emergencies Act after police declare Ottawa cleared of protesters' Trudeau revokes Emergencies Act after police declare Ottawa cleared of protesters
WATCH: Trudeau revokes Emergencies Act after police declare Ottawa cleared of protesters – Feb 23, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is revoking the Emergencies Act after 10 days that have seen police crack down to clear out hundreds of demonstrators with the so-called “Freedom Convoy” who had encamped in the nation’s capital for three weeks.

Trudeau made the announcement to end the use of the emergency powers at a press conference on Wednesday.

“Today, after careful consideration, we’re ready to confirm that the situation is no longer an emergency,” he said. “Therefore, the federal government will be ending the use of the Emergencies Act.”
Click to play video: 'Trucker protests: Trudeau says threat remains, but police forces have ‘sufficient’ tools to deal with further disruptions' Trucker protests: Trudeau says threat remains, but police forces have ‘sufficient’ tools to deal with further disruptions
Trucker protests: Trudeau says threat remains, but police forces have ‘sufficient’ tools to deal with further disruptions – Feb 23, 2022

Read more: Emergencies Act invoked because all levels of government failed to act, Singh says

Trudeau said the government was confident that the existing laws and bylaws were now sufficient to keep Canadians safe.

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“Of course, we will continue to be there to support provincial and local authorities if and when needed,” he added.
Click to play video: 'Trucker protests: ‘Don’t think anyone feels there was a low bar’ to invoke Emergencies Act, Trudeau says' Trucker protests: ‘Don’t think anyone feels there was a low bar’ to invoke Emergencies Act, Trudeau says
Trucker protests: ‘Don’t think anyone feels there was a low bar’ to invoke Emergencies Act, Trudeau says – Feb 23, 2022

The legislation, which replaced the contentious War Measures Act in 1988, allowed Trudeau’s government to declare the areas around Parliament Hill a place of prohibited assembly and granted RCMP the ability to share information about supporters of the convoy with financial institutions in order to freeze accounts.

Read more: Ottawa trucker convoy anticipated to cost nearly $30M, city says

Police from multiple jurisdictions in Ottawa used a gradually increasing level of force against demonstrators following dozens of warnings for them to leave the area in a push that began on Thursday evening and lasted through Sunday.

Nearly 200 people have been arrested and are facing nearly 400 charges. Several of the leading organizers and figures in the convoy are now behind bars; one of them, Tamara Lich, was denied bail on Tuesday while Pat King is awaiting a continuation of his bail hearing set to take place on Friday.

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Chris Barber is the only one of the leaders so far to have been granted bail.

Click to play video: 'Trucker convoy organizer Tamara Lich denied bail' Trucker convoy organizer Tamara Lich denied bail
Trucker convoy organizer Tamara Lich denied bail – Feb 22, 2022

Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history on Feb. 14 as a response to the blockades.

The move came after the convoy had been encamped on the streets of downtown Ottawa for three weeks, with multiple other blockades attempting to shut down border crossings in Windsor, Ont., Emerson, Man., and Coutts, Alta.

Municipal and provincial authorities had taken little concrete action to move or bar additions to the encampments over the three weeks since the convoy had set up despite the urgings of residents to do so.

Police handling of the matter — in particular, the decision to allow the convoy to encamp in downtown Ottawa in the first place — remains under intense criticism.
Click to play video: 'What people in Ottawa endured during protests' What people in Ottawa endured during protests
What people in Ottawa endured during protests – Feb 22, 2022

Read more: Ontario lifts state of emergency as feds ending use of Emergencies Act

Trudeau billed the decision to invoke the Emergencies Act as one that should never be a first resort, and had earlier in the week cited the “pre-positioning” of convoy associates since the clearing-out as a factor in why the federal state of emergency had not yet been revoked.

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A joint committee of parliamentarians will review the declaration of the act and within 60 days, an inquiry will look into the circumstances that led to the invocation of the act, Trudeau said.

The inquiry will also examine “the funding, influence and disinformation that supported the illegal blockades and occupations — both foreign and domestic,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Trucker protests: Freeland says invocation of Emergencies Act was ‘right thing to do’' Trucker protests: Freeland says invocation of Emergencies Act was ‘right thing to do’
Trucker protests: Freeland says invocation of Emergencies Act was ‘right thing to do’ – Feb 18, 2022

“Going forward it’ll be important that we gain a fuller understanding of what gave rise to this kind of disregard for laws and threat to our democracy,” Trudeau told reporters.

“While the immediate emergency situation is over, this issue won’t just go away,” he said, adding that the threat still remains.

Meanwhile, the Ontario government also announced Wednesday that it was lifting the state of emergency that was declared amid the convoy protests.

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“In alignment with the federal government, Ontario will be terminating its declaration of a state of emergency as of 5:00 p.m. today,” a statement from Premier Doug Ford’s office said.
Click to play video: 'House of Commons passes Emergencies Act' House of Commons passes Emergencies Act
House of Commons passes Emergencies Act – Feb 21, 2022

If the act had not been revoked, the state of emergency was set to remain in effect for 30 days from Feb. 14.

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