Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday emergency powers are still needed despite the progress police have made in stamping out weeks long paralyzing protests by truckers and others angry over Canada’s COVID-19 restrictions.
“The situation is still fragile, the state of emergency is still there,” Trudeau said. .
Lawmakers in Parliament will vote Monday night whether to allow police to continue to use emergency powers.
Trudeau noted there are some truckers that are just outside Ottawa that may be planning further blockades and his public safety minister noted there was an effort to block a border crossing in British Columbia on the weekend.
“Even though the 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,” Trudeau said. “There continues to be real concerns about the coming days.”
The prime minister said he’s confident lawmakers will vote to continue to allow police to use emergencies act, which allows authorities to declare certain areas as no go zones. It also allows police to freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts and compels tow truck companies to tow away vehicles.
The opposition New Democrat party has said it will support Trudeau’s Liberals, ensuring Trudeau has enough votes.
Speaking in parliament on Monday (Feb. 21), UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially announced the end of all remaining health restrictions in England, and the start of “living with COVID.”
While Johnson hailed the end of COVID-19 restrictions, he and other government officials across the UK made it clear that the pandemic is not over.
“COVID will not suddenly disappear,” the prime minister said. The government will continue looking for new, more dangerous variants of SARS-CoV-2 and keep certain infrastructure in place to identify any concerning mutations.
Johnson opened his statement by wishing the Queen a speedy recovery from COVID-19, saying it was “a reminder that this virus has not gone away,” before reaffirming that it’s now time to “move from government restrictions to personal responsibility.”