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Convoy protests: B.C. officials support Trudeau's historic invocation of Emergencies Act


The B.C. government has expressed support for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's historic invocation of the Emergencies Act in response to ongoing trucker convoy blockades and protests.

Meanwhile, two encampments are blocking vehicle access to the Pacific Highway Truck Crossing in Surrey, and Mounties have established layers of concrete barricades to help protect officers and prevent the same rush on the crossing there was on Saturday.

Trudeau announced the federal government's unprecedented decision to enact the emergency powers Monday afternoon, promising a measured application that will be "proportionate to the threats they are meant to address." There are no plans to deploy the military to protests.

"The Emergencies Act will be used to strengthen and support law enforcement agencies at all levels across the country," he said.

Before the announcement, Trudeau consulted with premiers and the Liberal caucus. Sources told CTV News the leaders' opinions on using the Emergencies Act – which hasn't been invoked since it replaced the War Measures Act in 1988 – were mixed.

B.C.'s deputy premier, Mike Farnworth, told reporters that local officials stand behind the prime minister's decision to use extraordinary powers to deal with protesters holding the country “economic hostage."

"We are supportive of the measures he feels he needs to deal with the situation back east," Farnworth said at a news conference hours before Trudeau spoke.

It's unclear what the Emergency Act invocation will mean for ongoing trucker convoy protests in B.C. and other parts of Canada.

Surrey RCMP told reporters their officers have been having a “dialogue” with the two groups of camped-out demonstrators: a smaller group with vehicles and campers in the soutbound lane of 176 Street has been there since Saturday, while a larger and more boisterous group near the actual border have been there since last Monday.

"We have to go about enforcement in a certain way to ensure the safety of all people and to ensure we don't unnecessarily escalate the situation," said Cpl. Vanessa Munn.


There were more demonstrations in the Lower Mainland over the weekend, leading to clashes with RCMP officers who set up roadblocks to prevent vehicles from nearing the Pacific Highway Border Crossing. Authorities allege a number of participants assaulted police, and some drivers broke past their barricades.

“It is not acceptable and we will investigate these acts that've placed both the public and our police officers at risk,” Surrey RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Elenore Sturko said Sunday.

Several people were arrested as a result of the protests.

Authorities said their ongoing discussions are intended to work towards a safe and peaceful resolution, but that enforcement actions are ongoing in the meantime.

While the border remains open, Surrey RCMP said officers have been forced to divert traffic to other crossings because of the protests. Pedestrians have also been “strongly encouraged” to find alternative routes to where they’re going.

Farnworth said the provincial government has been in regular contact with the various police departments dealing with the demonstrations, and has told them if "additional resources or authorities” are needed, officials “would absolutely consider them.”

"They're the ones who make the decisions around how to enforce things operationally. Our expectation is that the police enforce the law, and that is what they're doing," the deputy premier added.

Convoy supporters continued to come and go at the 8th Avenue RCMP roadblock, sometimes staying long enough to chat, wave a flag and share a snack from a tent offering free food and water. Others drove by honking or shouting their support for the cause, hatred for the prime minster, or simply the word “freedom.”

When asked whether the protesters were impacting his government’s plans on easing restrictions, Farnworth simply said, “No, decisions around the health mandates and how things are lifted and changed are made on the basis of science, not on the basis of mob rule."

With files from's Rachel Aiello Top Stories

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