Prime Minister Trudeau is making history, but maybe not the type of history one may want to go down in the history books for. In an effort to bring the ongoing trucker convoy in Ottowa to an end, for the first time in Canadian history, the federal government is enacting the Emergencies Act, declaring a public order emergency.
On Monday, the prime minister made the major announcement alongside Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. “I want to be very clear, the scope of these measures will be time-limited, geographically-targeted, as well as reasonable and proportionate to the threats they are meant to address,” Trudeau said, making it clear that for those still participating “the time to go home is now.”
The Emergencies Act, which goes into effect for a month, allows the federal government to bar people from gathering in certain locations. It could also allow officials to conscript the use of private tow trucks. The deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, said the Act would bar the use of crowdfunding websites for illegal activities and punish companies whose trucks were being used in the protests.
Watch as Trudeau was heckled today by the opposition while trying to defend his decision to invoke the Emergencies Act.
— Rebel News (@RebelNewsOnline) February 15, 2022
Trudeau may end up being alone in this as provincial leaders appear to be mixed on whether this extraordinary step is necessary, it seems that some leaders are removing restrictions daily instead of following Trudeau’s direction. In fact, Health Minister Christian Dubé made the announcement at a news conference today, saying the COVID-19 situation in the province has improved enough to gradually ease the measure.
Dube’ announced that as of Wednesday, Quebecers will no longer need to show a vaccine passport to enter liquor and cannabis stores as well as larger retail outlets.
As of Feb. 21, the passport will no longer be required in places of worship or at funerals.
By March 14, the passport will be phased out entirely, including for restaurants, gyms, cinemas, and long-term care homes. Dubé said the change will coincide with the arrival of the first COVID-specific antiviral treatments in the province.
Proof of vaccination will still be required for domestic rail and air travel, as mandated by the federal government. Masks will also still be required in all public indoor spaces in the province.
Quebec's health minister announced that the vaccine passport will be phased out by March 14. As of Wednesday, the passport will no longer be required to access big box, cannabis, & liquor stores. It will no longer be required at places of worship & funerals as of Feb. 21. pic.twitter.com/o26bKA5CTc
— Prodigal Son (@ThePr0diga1S0n) February 15, 2022
Dube’ tweeted the timeline below:
Translated from French by The PV has demonstrated its usefulness, protecting Quebecers and our health network while allowing a return to “normality.” In the current context, PV is less necessary. You take it off gradually as you learn to live with the virus.
Le PV a démontré son utilité, en protégeant les Québécois et notre réseau de santé tout en permettant un retour à une certaine normalité. Dans le contexte actuel, le PV est moins nécessaire. On le retire de façon graduelle pendant qu'on apprend à vivre avec le virus. pic.twitter.com/qYLVND0KI8
— Christian Dubé (@cdube_sante) February 15, 2022
Many Canadians may be leery of this staying power of the restrictions being lifted after Dube’ admitted that vaccine passports and mandatory masks have no end in sight only days earlier of his announcement today.
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé admits that vaccine passports and mandatory masks have no end in sight, and will remain “tools” to ensure a return to “normal life” when another wave hits. pic.twitter.com/TXJnN4xJ8x
— Marie Oakes (@TheMarieOakes) February 8, 2022
Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in the province on Friday, invoking new emergency measures to levy stiffer fines and penalties on protesters, including a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment for non-compliance. “These occupiers, they’re doing the total opposite of what they say they’re there to do,” Ford said. However, in the video below it seems there may have been a change of heart.
Premier of Ontario Doug Ford admits that the Vaccine Passport Program was a massive failure. Ends it.pic.twitter.com/JeMr82u7Le
— Keean Bexte (@TheRealKeean) February 15, 2022
I wonder what may have caused that?