Emergencies Act: 5 Notable New Powers

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Late Tuesday evening, the federal government released the regulations outlining in more detail new powers that are being enacted through the Emergency Measures Act to end protests and blockades of truck convoys. CTVNews.ca has scoured the fine print and here are five notable things you should know.

1. Securing vaccination clinics: Among the places where the federal government is considering critical infrastructure are hospitals and “places where COVID-19 vaccines are given,” which currently in this country likely includes pharmacies and some big-box stores. Other examples of critical infrastructure are airports, ports, railways, utility and power facilities, and international border crossings.

2. No children at protest sites: The ban on bringing children to the sites where these demonstrations and blockades take place specifies that a person cannot “take a person under the age of eighteen years to travel to or within 500 meters” of these demonstrations . There are exemptions for people who live, work or travel to these areas for other reasons.

3. Protect war memorials: Among the places that the federal government considers protected places are war memorials, in light of the acts of desecration observed in Ottawa. Specifically, it is “any property that is a building, structure, or part thereof that serves primarily as a monument to those killed or deceased as a result of war. Other protected places include the entire Parliamentary Precinct which includes several federal buildings and office spaces, official residences such as Rideau Cottage and defense buildings.

4. Comply with orders: As for the direction of essential services, for example tow trucks, the order can be made verbally or in writing and the person “must comply with it”. The regulation also specifies that the compensation “must be equal to the current market price for these goods or services”.

5. Civil Immunity: There is ‘immunity’ for those who follow orders under the law, which could mean banks moving to freeze funding or tow truck drivers won’t face attempted civil action later . The regulations specifically state “no proceedings under the Emergencies Act and no civil proceedings may be brought against any entity for complying with this order.”

Learn more here about the government’s justification for invoking the law, more details on what’s prohibited, and what the next steps are.

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