Emergency/ Crisis Management

“Freedom convoy” funding defended`

The U.S. crowdfunding site GiveSendGo says the Canadian government did not ask it to stop collecting donations for the “freedom convoy” which paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks. A parliamentary committee also was told “that the suppression of speech is much more dangerous than speech itself” and that GSG would host fundraisers for extremist organizations if their plans were legally authorized. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa accused of “tyranny” and fascism

Conservative interests in the U.S., stoked by former President Donald Trump, are trying to gain political capital in the aftermath of the “freedom convoy” which paralyzed Ottawa for three weeks before the government invoked the Emergencies Act. In a weekend speech to Republican loyalists in Florida, Trump effectively accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government of “tyranny” and being allied with “left-wing fascists.”


Global warming response woeful

A report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says countries are not doing nearly enough to protect against disasters expected as global warming continues. UN Secretary General António Guterres calls the report compiled by 270 researchers from 67 countries “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.” [node:read-more:link]

New Zealand protest mirrors Canada

Antigovernment protests that jolted Canada this month have been quashed but a similar occupation in New Zealand’s capital is now in its third week. The occupation in Wellington initially had a carnival atmosphere but has deteriorated into a violent pushback against police attempts to clear the area. [node:read-more:link]

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]


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