OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) –Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has declared that the state of emergency enacted in Canada last week “is not over” ahead of Parliament voting Monday to maintain the Emergencies Act, despite the peaceful Freedom Convoy having now dispersed.
Before parliamentarians convened in Canada’s House of Commons, Trudeau held a press conference Monday, telling reporters that “even though things seem to be resolving very well in Ottawa, this state of emergency is not over.”
During the address, Trudeau said that his Liberal government “didn’t want to use the Emergencies Act,” but that following “weeks of dangerous and unlawful activities … after a flood of misinformation and disinformation washed over Canada … after these illegal blockades received disturbing amounts of foreign funding to destabilize Canada’s democracy, it became clear that local and provincial authorities needed more tools to restore order and keep people safe.”
“Anyone who votes no tonight,” he said, is “indicating that they don’t trust the government to make incredibly momentous and important decisions at a very difficult time.”
“I am confident that the majority of parliamentarians will stand up to support our values, to stand up to support our democracy, and to stand up to support their fellow Canadians,” Trudeau said.
Although the truckers had left both Parliament Hill in Ottawa and the Ambassador Bridge connecting Ontario with the U.S. state of Michigan, Trudeau claimed that the extension of emergency powers is needed to continue “making sure our borders remain open. It has been the responsible thing to do.”
Continuing, the Liberal leader said that invoking the Emergencies Act is “not something to undertake lightly,” adding that its use must be “momentary, temporary, and proportional.” He said the government is “reflecting on how much longer the Emergencies Act needs to be in place” and that they “don’t want to keep it in place a single day longer than necessary.”
Despite this assertion, Trudeau declared that “even though blockades are lifted across border openings right now, even though things seem to be resolving very well in Ottawa, this state of emergency is not over.”
“There continues to be real concerns about the coming days, but we will continue to evaluate every single day whether or not it is time and we are able to lift this state of emergency,” he added.
The prime minister defended his push to extend the controversial powers as a way to maintain order, telling Canadians they either “keep reliving these scenes that tear at the values that bind us as Canadians, or we can choose to remember who we are, and the best vision of what Canada can be.”
“There’s a lesson for all of us in what happened this month. We don’t know when this pandemic is going to finally end, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start healing as a nation.”
Canada’s House of Commons voted last night to extend the emergency powers called upon by Trudeau in a 185-151 vote, meaning the legislation will now be presented to the Senate on Tuesday afternoon to later be voted upon next week.
Trudeau’s Liberal government garnered enough support from the New Democratic Party to quash opposition from both the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois, who voted against extending the powerful measures.
The controversial emergency powers grant the federal government a wide array of additional controls, including the ability to freeze financial assets linked to the Freedom Convoy. The government has already used this power to block access to the millions of dollars raised on crowdfunding platforms for the truckers and the private bank accounts of citizens who supported the protest.
This use of the powers prompted pro-freedom group The Canadian Civil Liberties Association to announce on February 17 that it intends to sue the Canadian government over its “unnecessary, unjustifiable and unconstitutional” invocation of the Emergencies Act, which it says violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.