Justin Trudeau is getting ready to inform the provinces that he will be invoking the Emergencies Act, previously known as the War Measures Act, which gives the federal government extraordinary powers over the people and the country, in response to the freedom protests.
The Emergencies Act defines a national emergency as a "temporary critical situation that seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians, and that exceeds the provinces ability to deal with it.
These types of measures haven't been used since Justin Trudeau's stepfather, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, enacted them in the 70's during the October Crisis.
The main differences between the War Measures Act and the Emergencies Act is that a declaration of an emergency by the Cabinet must be reviewed by Parliament, and any temporary laws made under the act are subject to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, changes meant to protect the rights of citizens. However, it is important to note that the Trudeau regime has been infringing upon that same charter this entire time with no repercussions, so that might not matter.
Once the emergency is declared, it takes effect right away, and the federal government has 7 days to get the motion approved by the House of Commons and the Senate, and if it's not approved, it is revoked immediately.
Associate professor in the applied disaster and emergency studies department at Brandon University in Manitoba, Jack Lindsay, said one of the first steps in invoking the Emergencies Act is the government showing that a state of emergency exists.
There are four types of emergencies listed under the act: a public welfare emergency; a public order emergency; an international emergency; and a war emergency. It will be interesting to see which one is cited when it is invoked. "They're gonna have to basically prove that first hurdle, that it is a national emergency. He's basically going to be arguing that these truckers are basically creating a threat to the security of Canada." he said.
Under the act, the government is prohibited from taking direct control of police forces, said Lindsay. "They do have the grounds to regulate and prohibit public assembly and travel and then regulate or prohibit the use of specific properties," he said. "I suppose they could put out regulations about where semi-trailers are allowed to park overnight, for example. They can designate protected places, like the Ambassador Bridge or something." The government also can order or direct any person to render services with compensation, said Lindsay. That power could in theory be used to tow trucks blocking streets downtown, which tow companies refused to do already.
Sources say Trudeau has told his liberal caucus that he has no plans to deploy the military.
If Justin Castro does deploy the military, it should open the door for the types of international sanctions used on Cuba, to be used against Canada, as its normally only communist regimes who deploy their militaries against their own people.