Emergencies Act could freeze protest trucks out of area around Parliament Hill

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Published February 14, 2022 at 1:58 pm

OTTAWA — Invoking the Emergencies Act could allow the federal government to forbid more large trucks from rolling into the gridlocked area around Parliament Hill.

Security expert Wesley Wark says declaring a public order emergency under the never-used law would give the government power to control streets near the Hill now jammed with vehicles.

Wark, a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, says it means the government could prevent travel in and out of that protected zone.

The Emergencies Act also permits the regulation or prohibition of any public assembly expected to lead to a breach of the peace.

Philip Boyle, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo who studies public safety, says in such a scenario the RCMP would likely be responsible for establishing checkpoints and regulating assembly in the downtown Ottawa area.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is consulting the premiers about using the federal emergency law as antigovernment blockades immobilize downtown Ottawa and cause havoc at certain border crossings with the United States.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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