RCMP cleared border blockades without Emergencies Act powers, committee hears

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OTTAWA — RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says powers afforded to police by the government's invoking of the Emergencies Act were not used to clear blockades at Canadian border crossings.

Lucki's comments are part of a virtual appearance at a House of Commons committee studying how the powers were used after the government invoked the powers for the first time.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the government planned to invoke the Emergencies Act on Feb. 14 in response to blockades at border crossings and in the streets of Ottawa.

The blockades were organized by the Freedom Convoy in protest of COVID-19 restrictions, vaccine mandates and Trudeau's government.

At the time, Trudeau pointed to the economic impact to Canada's trade at the border as one of the justifications for invoking the act.

Lucki says RCMP removed the blockades at the border without the powers offered under the act, though she says the Emergencies Act may have motivated some protesters to leave.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 10, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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