Emergency/ Crisis Management

The rights v. responsibilities question

The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, points out that rights are interwoven with responsibilities. “Freedom is not absolute,” she writes, commenting on the protests against mandatory coronavirus vaccination. She notes that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms makes it clear that freedoms are not absolute because “governments, it proclaims, can limit freedoms, provided the limits are ‘reasonable’ and can be ‘justified in a free and democratic society’.” [node:read-more:link]

Liberals revoke Emergency Measures Act

Now that order has been restored in Ottawa and Canada's border crossings, the Prime Minister says the government can revoke the Emergencies Act. The House of Commons had just approved the strong measures on Monday night. The crisis had raged at full bore and full volume for 20 days previous to the announcement of emergency powers which immediately froze financial support and made tow trucks into essential services. [node:read-more:link]

“Freedom” protestors relocate outside Ottawa

Some of the “freedom convoy” protesters who paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks have relocated to private properties in surrounding rural areas, prompting concerns that they might gry to mount a fresh blockade in the capital. Police continue to monitor the situation. [node:read-more:link]

Protest supporters’ accounts thawing out

The department of finance has begun unfreezing the accounts of individuals who supported the “freedom convoy” in Ottawa. Under the auspices of the Emergencies Act, the government gave financial institutions the power to suspend the accounts, without a court order, of individual or business affiliated with the three-week occupation of downtown Ottawa. [node:read-more:link]

“Freedom convoy” police response reviewed

Two incidents reported during police clearance of the last of the protesters from the so-called “freedom convoy” which paralyzed the capital’s core for three weeks are being investigated by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit. One incident resulted in a woman’s fractured collar bone and the other involved police use of “non-lethal” Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield baton rounds. [node:read-more:link]

House endorses Emergencies Act

A motion affirming the government's invocation of the Emergencies Act to deal with protests in the capital and elsewhere was approved by the House of Commons Feb. 21 by a vote of 185-151 with the Liberals supported by the New Democratic Party. Immediately afterward, a bid by the Conservatives to recall the invocation was ruled out of order. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa protesters grab for police weapons

More than 100 members of the so-called “freedom convoy” were arrested Feb. 18 as police moved in on protesters in what acting police chief Steve Bell said was a “methodical” approach to ending the three-week downtown blockade. There was occasional aggressive pushback and police reported that some protesters tried to grab officers’ firearms. [node:read-more:link]

Court freezes Ottawa protesters’ funding

As much as $20 million in bank and cryptocurrency accounts linked to the “freedom convoy” protest in Ottawa were frozen by judicial order Feb. 18. “It’s the first time in Canadian legal history that bitcoin and cryptocurrency has been subject to a freezing order,” said Paul Champ, the lawyer representing Ottawa residents’ class-action suit. If an appeal fails, it could mean some of the funds could be used to compensate residents affected by the three-week protest that has paralyzed the capital’s downtown core. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa protest organizers arrested

As hundreds of protesters in the so-called “freedom convoy” of coronavirus vaccination opponents continued late Feb. 17, police made several arrests, including two key protest organizers. Chris Barber and Tamara Lich, who called others to “hold the line” as she was being taken into custody, face charges of mischief and counselling to commit mischief. [node:read-more:link]

Trump comments on Ottawa protest

The so-called “freedom convoy” which paralyzed Ottawa’s downtown core for three weeks has elicited “a lot of respect” from Donald Trump, who infamously called Black Lives Matter protesters in his own country “thugs” and anarchists.” The fact that he was supported by his political followers and right-wing news media, prompted accusations of hypocrisy. [node:read-more:link]

Militant protestor remains in custody

An Alberta judge has refused to release a controversial preacher accused of inciting violence during the recent border blockade at the province’s border with Montana. Art Pawlowski of Calgary, charged with public mischief and interrupting essential operations, had encouraged protesters to withdraw, saying that “for freedom to be preserved, people must be willing to sacrifice their lives.” [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa protest policing costs soar

The ongoing occupation of downtown Ottawa by coronavirus protesters has cost the Ottawa Police Service more than $14.1 million as the protest nears the end of its third week There are still hundreds of trucks and other vehicles on Wellington Street, in front of the Parliament buildings and the Prime Minister's Office, but police say the number of occupiers has dwindled significantly since last weekend. [node:read-more:link]

Four charged with plot to kill police

Four Alberta men in custody after an RCMP raid in Coutts Feb. 14 are accused of plotting to murder police and nine others face weapons and mischief charges in the connection with the protest at a border crossing with Montana over mandatory coronavirus vaccinations. Southern Alberta RCMP Chief Superintendent Trevor Daroux said Feb. 15 the raid had yielded firearms, ammunition, extended magazines and protective gear. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa protesters face stiff penalties

Members of the Ottawa coronavirus vaccination protest that has kept the capital at a standstill for nearly three weeks say the government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act is a scare tactic. Nevertheless, details of the government’s sweeping response, released late Feb. 15, include fines of up to $5,000 for individual offences and prison terms up to five years. [node:read-more:link]

Federal government sets convoy timeline

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino has effectively given truckers clogging the capital’s core until the weekend to leave the area as the protest against mandatory coronavirus vaccinations neared the end of its third week. “No one wants to see another weekend like the last three,” he said today. “And I'm assured by my discussions with the police that they fully appreciate that.” Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said the Emergencies Act has given the government “the tools to do what needs to be done.” [node:read-more:link]


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