After Mayor of Ottawa says the emergency law gives the power to sell towing vehicles to cover protest costs, the Deputy Prime Minister confirms that the city has certain power under the law.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said the federal government was the only emergency law two days ago after the mayor of Ottawa said he wanted to sell a vehicle towed during a police operation against protesters to cover the city’s costs. It suffered from protests over the past three weeks, stating that it would also empower local governments.

“I talked about the power of the federal government. Mr Freeland responded to a reporter’s question at a press conference on February 21 held by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several ministers.

Mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson told the CBC on February 19 that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has the authority to sell vehicles under the Emergency Act, which came into force on February 14.

“We actually have the ability to confiscate and sell those vehicles,” he said, “I want to see them sold. As such in our community. I don’t want to go back to these people who are causing frustration and anxiety. “

At a press conference on February 21, Trudeau also said that the federal government would continue to pursue emergency legislation, even if protesters were largely excluded from downtown Ottawa.

A truck called the “Freedom Convoy” arrived in Ottawa on January 28 and 29, protesting the federal COVID-19 vaccine obligations for truck drivers traveling between Canada and the United States. After many Canadians from all over the country participated and expressed support for ending various COVID-19 obligations and restrictions, it turned into a much larger movement.

Police began escalating operations against protesters in Ottawa on February 18, when they began escalating operations on the afternoon of February 20. Made 191 people were arrested, 389 were prosecuted, and 79 vehicles were towed.another 20 cars It was towed that night.

In the context of blockade or occupation, the Emergency Act allows the government to force tow truck companies to remove vehicles that have previously refused streets or lane blockades in connection with protests in Ottawa. increase.

The law also gives the state additional authority to freeze protesters’ individual and corporate bank accounts and revoke corporate auto insurance coverage related to the protest, without court order.

Watson said independent reviews are planned at both the federal and local levels to determine how the opposition movement has evolved and prevent similar opposition movements from happening again. rice field.

Epoch Times Photo
Police will inspect one of the few remaining protest trucks before towing from downtown Ottawa on February 20, 2022. (Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld)

and Press conference At the Lord Elgin Hotel on February 19, convoy spokesman Tom Marazzo said the protests were always peaceful.

“There was no violence during the three weeks I was here … no damage,” he said.

According to Marazzo, the convoy tried to ask the city to develop local businesses so that participants could support them, but the request was unsuccessful.

He apologized for the barking of the car and said the protesters were there to protect the rights and freedoms of all Canadians.

He also called for a peaceful withdrawal, saying protesters would not be a “punching bag for law enforcement.”

Meanwhile, the Ottawa police Said The “safe area” remains valid in downtown the city, from Bronson Avenue to the canals and from Queensway to the Houses of Parliament. announcement February 17th.

“You can expect to see police checkpoints asking why you are traveling in a safe area,” police said in a press release.

“Travel to a secure area requires you to show proof of tax exemption.”

Omid Ghoreishi and NoƩ Chartier contributed to this report.

Isaac Theo


Isaac Teo is a Toronto-based Epoch Times reporter.

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