A Parliamentary debate over the unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act has been cancelled, due to the ongoing police raid in downtown Ottawa.
Liberal Speaker of the House Anthony Rota announced the Friday meetings in the House of Commons and the Senate over the Trudeau government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act in response to the ongoing freedom convoy that were scheduled would be axed.
At this moment, there is no indication whether further meetings will be cancelled or postponed. According to the government, a vote on the matter is still expected to be held early next week – after the police operation will likely be over.
Rota said the cancellation is a result of an impending police operation, which is set to take place by Parliament Hill and around Ottawa’s downtown core.
“As per the Parliamentary Protective Service’s (PPS) most recent email notification, a police operation is expected to take place on Wellington Street and other locations in the downtown core of Ottawa. Given these exceptional circumstances, and following discussion with all recognized party leadership, the sitting today is cancelled.,” wrote Rota Friday.
On Friday morning, there were reports and rumours of police preparing to move in on the convoy protesters.
Liberal House Leader Mark Holland insists the cancellation of the debate is not a measure to restrict debate. Instead, he states, it is to maintain safety.
“MPs from all sides in the House are engaged in a historic debate. Those who want to speak will do so,” Holland tweeted Friday.
“Today’s pause in the debate will not affect the outcome. The House will do its work, and MPs will vote early next week on the Emergencies Act motion.”
On Friday, Ottawa Police tweeted a warning to convoy protesters to immediately leave.
“You must leave. You must cease further unlawful activity and immediately remove your vehicle and/or property from all unlawful protest sites. Anyone within the unlawful protest site may be arrested.”
The police service also warned members of the media to “keep a distance and stay out of police operations for your safety” or else they may be arrested as well.
On Thursday, Ottawa Police Service secured a perimeter around downtown Ottawa and arrested a number of protesters, including two key organizers – Tamara Lich and Chris Barber.
Despite the arrests and increased police presence, convoy protesters remain committed to the cause.
Shortly after Barber’s arrest and before her own, Lich urged supporters to “hold the line.”