Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the never-used Emergencies Act to give his government enhanced authority in response to the anti-vaccine mandate protests and blockades gripping Canada.
The law will grant Mr Trudeau's government extraordinary powers for 30 days - including the power to prohibit public assembly, travel and the use of specific property.
The move comes amid weeks of disruptive - and expensive - demonstrations against Covid-19 restrictions.
Trudeau uses emergency law to stop protests
Law enforcement on Sunday re-opened the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor - a critical crossing for Canada-US trade - after a week-long standstill. But in Ottawa, hundreds of demonstrators have begun their third week of occupation around the city's Parliament Hill.
Here's a look at what the Emergencies Act is, and what it can actually do.
What is the Emergencies Act?
The Emergencies Act, passed in 1988, bestows the government with added powers in times of national crisis.
The situation must meet a high bar, specifically an "urgent and critical situation" that "seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians".
And Cabinet may only invoke the legislation if the emergency cannot be addressed by any existing federal law and if it exceeds the capacity of the provinces to handle it effectively.
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The Emergencies Act outlines four different types of emergencies: public welfare emergencies, public order emergencies, international emergencies and war emergencies. If the legislation is invoked this week, it will likely be under the 'public order' category. Again, the criteria here is strict - lawful protests do not qualify.
Instead, the situation must be considered a threat to the security of Canada, as defined by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act. This law outlines four possible scenarios:
Espionage or sabotage
Threats or use of acts of serious violence for political, religious or ideological objectives
Covert, unlawful acts intended to undermine or overthrow the constitutionally established government
It is so far unclear which scenario Mr Trudeau would rely on to justify the use of the Emergency Act - none of these four scenarios have been clearly present in Ontario.
To invoke the law, the prime minister must also consult with the premiers of any impacted provinces before putting the move before Parliament. If the act does not pass a vote there, the proclamation will be revoked.
On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he would support the federal government and "any proposals they have to bring law and order back to our province". The premier of Quebec, Francois Legault, told reporters he didn't want to see the act applied in his province.
What powers does the Emergencies Act grant?
Under the Act, the government has a number of far-reaching powers at its disposal.
The government could bar travel to or from specific areas - from Parliament Hill or major border crossings, for example. It could order the evacuation of people and personal property from certain areas, possibly using this power to clear out congested areas of protesters. And it could direct individuals and companies to render essential services, perhaps ordering tow-truck companies to lend their services and clear the roads of demonstrators and their vehicles.
But while Mr Trudeau's government may soon be granted an almost carte blanche to respond to the protests, there is no indication the prime minister will also seek military intervention.
While Mr Trudeau has said that "everything is on the table", he has maintained that military involvement would be a last resort.
"We are a long way from having to call in the military," he said on Friday
His first act, it appears, was to choke off any funding for the protesters by broadening its anti-money-laundering rules to cover crowdsourcing sites, threatening them with financing "terrorism".
“We are broadening the scope of Canada's anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules so that they cover Crowd Funding Platforms and the payment service providers they use,” Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
“This is about following the money. This is about stopping the financing of these illegal blockades."
Canada authorizes banks and financial institutions to “temporarily cease providing financial services where the institution suspects that an account is being used to further the illegal blockades and occupations.”
BREAKING: Premiers of Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan oppose Trudeau decision to invoke the Emergencies Act on the truckers
Police sabotage heavy equipment at Coutts
Police confirmed that they were behind the damage caused to vehicles on private land in Coutts, Alberta.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank has said that it had frozen accounts holding about $1.4 million donated to the Freedom Convoy protesters. The bank has asked the Ontario Superior Court to take charge of the money.
“TD has asked the court to accept the funds, which were raised through crowdfunding and deposited into personal accounts at TD, so they may be managed and distributed in accordance with the intentions of the donors, and/or to be returned to the donors who have requested refunds but whose entitlement to a refund cannot be determined by TD,” said a spokesperson for the bank.
Since the traditional means are facing blockades, some supporters of the truckers' protests have turned to cryptocurrency. Because it is decentralized and peer-to-peer, the government cannot directly interfere.
This is what I was afraid of. The Emergency Act formally the War Act.
The reason I went dark is because the RCMP and CSIS (Security Apparatus) have erected portable cell towers to catch everyone who is demonstrating at a protest in Canada.
Take in note: the OPP visiting people at their primary residence like the video you and others have shown.
Three weeks ago I will repeat my self Trudeau is going to quell this protest by any means.
All the VPs are hacked by NSA and CSE (Communications Security Establishment)this is very troubling because we think we are free but in reality we’re are not.
They are collecting data and listening to every conversation, text and emails. People will charged well after the fact and the state has unlimited resources. They will pick on leaders and make examples out of them and go after some nobodies too.