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A timeline of what led up to the invocation of the Emergencies Act

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OTTAWA — As public hearings begin into the federal government’s first use of the Emergencies Act legislation, inquiry commission lawyers have prepared a rough timeline of the events that led up to the historic invocation.

The timeline is not exhaustive, and commission lawyers expect many more key elements will be explored throughout the six weeks of public hearings.

Nov. 19, 2021

— The Public Health Agency of Canada announces new border measures will be imposed in early 2022 requiring Canadian truck drivers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the country in order to avoid quarantine rules.

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Dec. 5 -10

— A convoy organized by James Bauder arrives in Ottawa and attempts to deliver a “memorandum of understanding” to the Senate.

Jan. 13, 2022

— Canadian officials confirm new border measures will come into effect on Jan. 15 requiring that Canadian commercial truckers entering Canada be vaccinated to avoid quarantine rules.

— Pat King hosts a Facebook livestream to discuss early plans for a convoy to Ottawa.

— The first mention of a “Freedom Convoy” is made in a “Project Hendon” report, which the Ontario Provincial Police shares with other police agencies.

Jan. 14

— Protest organizer Tamara Lich creates the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser on GoFundMe.

Jan. 18

— Chris Garrah creates the Adopt-A-Trucker fundraiser on GiveSendGo.

Jan. 21

— Daily Project Hendon teleconferences begin.

Jan. 22 — 23

— The convoy departs British Columbia for Ottawa.

Jan. 23

— A convoy of transport trucks, cars and other vehicles slows traffic on Huron Church Road in Winsdor, Ont.

Jan. 26

— Ottawa police Chief Peter Sloly briefs the police board and city council about the convoy.

Jan. 27

— Convoy participants depart Nova Scotia for Ottawa.

— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cites “a small fringe minority” and “unacceptable views” when discussing the convoy during televised remarks.

Jan. 28

— Convoy protesters begin to arrive in Ottawa.

— The Ottawa Police Service actives the National Capital Region Command Centre.

Jan. 29

— The Rideau Centre mall in downtown Ottawa closes.

— The Shepherds of Good Hope shelter in downtown Ottawa reports harassment of staff and clients by protesters.

— A second “slow roll” protest occurs along Huron Church Road in Windsor, the street leading to the international border crossing.

— A convoy of approximately 9,000 people and 200 trucks converges on Edmonton.

— A convoy of approximately 1,000 vehicles leaves Lethbridge, Alta., for the Coutts border crossing, stopping traffic in both directions on Provincial Highway 4.

Jan. 30

— Chief Sloly speaks with the Ottawa city solicitor and city manager about obtaining a legal injunction against the protesters.

Jan. 31

— A Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser is created on GiveSendGo.

Feb. 1

— GoFundMe releases $1 million from the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser to organizer Lich’s bank account.

Feb. 2

— GoFundMe announces it has paused the fundraiser, pending review.

— City and police lawyers meet to discuss seeking an injunction.

— Sloly says during a press conference “there may not be a policing solution to this demonstration.”

— One lane of traffic is opened at the Coutts border crossing in Alberta. RCMP prepare bidirectional escorts between police checkpoints and the crossing. Traffic passes through the Coutts blockade slowly and with multiple interruptions over the next few days.

Feb. 3

— Organizer Lich says at a press conference that protesters will remain until all public health mandates are removed.

— GoFundMe terminates the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser and says it will refund all donors. Lich directs donors to the GiveSendGo campaign.

— Ottawa’s city solicitor writes to the police service’s lawyers to confirm an injunction will not be needed, but requests further information in case the city decides to move for an injunction.

— Ottawa resident Zexi Li launches a class action against protest organizers and participants on behalf of her fellow residents.

— Protests take place across Toronto, including around the provincial legislature building.

— About 1,000 protesters assemble around the provincial legislature in Winnipeg.

Feb. 5

— Slow-roll protests take place around the Ottawa International Airport.

— More than 1,000 people protest at the provincial legislature in Edmonton, and 2,500 vehicles get involved in various parts of the city. The Edmonton protest disperses by 5 p.m.

— Between 3,000 and 4,000 people hold a rally in Calgary involving 20 vehicles.

— Protesters converge around the legislative assembly in Regina.

— Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver makes a written request to federal ministers Bill Blair and Marco Mendicino for use of Canadian Armed Forces tow trucks to remove protesters at the Coutts border.

Feb. 6

— The City of Ottawa declares a state of emergency.

— Chief Sloly meets with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and police board chair Coun. Diane Deans to tell them he needs an additional 1,800 officers, plus extra resources.

— Protesters in Windsor tell police they will block the Ambassador Bridge border crossing if COVID-19 health measures are not lifted by the following day.

— Protesters in Sarnia, Ont., block access to the Bluewater Bridge border crossing. Access to the bridge is sporadic in following days.

Feb. 7

— Sloly publicly announces his request for 1,800 officers from other police agencies.

— Mayor Watson and chair Deans request assistance from the Ontario and federal governments, seeking the 1,800 officers.

— Li’s court action obtains an injunction from the provincial Superior Court of Justice to stop horn honking in the Ottawa core.

— Protesters block the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in Windsor using vehicles. Border operations are suspended.

— Windsor activates its emergency operations centre.

— Most of the protesters at the provincial legislature in Regina leave.

Feb. 8

— Protest organizers meet with Ottawa city manager Steve Kanellakos.

— Ontario Provincial Police and RCMP planners arrive in Ottawa to assist the local force.

— An OPP liaison team arrives in Windsor.

— Protesters re-establish a full blockade of the Coutts border crossing in Alberta.

Feb. 9

— Representatives from the Ottawa protest, including Tom Marazzo, Keith Wilson and Eva Chipiuk, meet with police.

— Secondary access to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor is fully blocked by end of day.

— Windsor police make a formal request to the Ontario and federal governments for extra police resources and heavy tow trucks.

— Protests on the highway to the Blue Water bridge in Sarnia cause delays, though the border crossing remains open. Disruptions continue in following days.

Feb. 10

— Ottawa Mayor Watson is contacted by Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s ex-chief of staff, Dean French, who offers to facilitate a discussion with convoy organizers. French is put in touch with the mayor’s chief of staff, Serge Arpin.

— Automotive Parts Manufacturing Association and the City of Windsor apply for court injunctions concerning the Windsor bridge blockade.

— An estimated 50 to 75 vehicles block Provincial Trunk Highway 75 in Winnipeg, stopping traffic from crossing the border.

— The Ontario attorney general obtains an order restraining certain funds, including money raised through GiveSendGo.

— The prime minister convenes and chairs the first meeting of the cabinet incident response group to address the blockades.

Feb. 11

— The premier of Ontario declares a state of emergency.

— The City of Ottawa applies for an injunction against the protesters over violations of various bylaws.

— An Ontario Superior Court justice issues an injunction against continued blocking of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor.

— The RCMP asks the Canada Border Services Agency to suspend service at the Coutts border crossing in Alberta.

— Prime Minister Trudeau discusses the economic effect of the blockades with U.S. President Joe Biden.

Feb. 12

— Ottawa Mayor Watson and protest organizer Lich exchange letters about moving trucks off residential roadways.

— Ottawa police announce the establishment of an integrated command centre.

— A protest takes place near the Peace Bridge border crossing at Fort Erie, Ont. The border remains open with minimal reported delays.

— The Coutts border crossing is closed to traffic.

— About 1,000 protesters and 700 vehicles are involved in demonstrations across Edmonton.

— The prime minister chairs a meeting of the cabinet incident response group.

Feb. 13

— Protesters at the Ambassador Bridge crossing in Windsor are removed following police enforcement. Approximately 44 charges are laid.

— A fence around the National War Memorial in Ottawa is removed by protesters.

— Counter-protesters block a number of convoy trucks from entering downtown Ottawa. The standoff lasts most of the day.

— Organizer Lich sends a tweet to say no deal had been made with Ottawa’s mayor, after media report an agreement to move trucks out of residential areas.

— The prime minister chairs a meeting of the incident response group, then meets with his entire cabinet.

Feb. 14

— The prime minister meets with all premiers to discuss the possible invocation of the Emergencies Act.

— The federal government proclaims a public order emergency under the Emergencies Act.

— Ambassador Bridge reopens to traffic in the early morning.

— The City of Windsor declares a state of emergency.

— RCMP seize weapons at the Coutts protest site and lay charges, including conspiracy to commit murder, against a number of individuals. Protesters begin to leave the area.

— Ontario Superior Court issues an injunction sought by the City of Ottawa.

— Organizer Lich tweets that she has in fact agreed to movement of trucks from residential areas.

Feb. 15

— Sloly resigns, and deputy Steve Bell steps in as interim Ottawa police chief.

— Police intercept a convoy of vehicles believed to have been travelling to Windsor.

— A blockade along Provincial Highway 4 in Coutts is cleared and the border services agency announces service at the border crossing will resume.

— The Governor in Council unfurls the Emergency Measures Regulations and the Emergency Economic Measures Order pursuant to the Emergencies Act.

— Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland holds a press conference to outline the economic measures being taken under the Emergencies Act.

Feb. 16

— Ottawa council votes to remove Deans as chair of the police board. Three other members of the board resign their positions as a result.

— The blockade at the Emerson, Man., border crossing is cleared.

— A motion to confirm the declaration of a public order emergency is tabled in the House of Commons.

Feb. 17

— Convoy organizers Lich and Chris Barber are arrested separately in Ottawa.

— The class-action plaintiffs get an injunction to restrain assets of several convoy organizers, including crowdfunded money and cryptocurrency.

— The House of Commons debates a motion to confirm the declaration of a public order emergency.

Feb. 18

— Convoy organizers King and Daniel Bulford are arrested separately in Ottawa.

— Police begin to clear protesters out of downtown Ottawa.

— Federal party leaders agree not to continue debate on the motion to confirm the state of emergency because of the police operations taking place just outside the Parliament buildings. Debate resumes from Feb. 19 to 21. The motion is adopted Feb. 21.

Feb. 21

— Convoy organizer Bauder is arrested

— The police operation to clear protesters out of Ottawa ends.

— A motion to confirm the declaration of a public order emergency is tabled in the Senate.

Feb. 22

— The Senate considers the motion.

Feb. 23

— The public order emergency is revoked.

— The motion to declare the emergency is withdrawn in the Senate

— The Ontario state of emergency ends.

— In Winnipeg, police deliver a letter to protesters at the provincial legislature warning that those who remain risk arrest, charges and seizure of their vehicles. Most protesters leave.

Feb. 24

— The states of emergency in Ottawa and Windsor end.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2022.

 

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

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Canada commits $800 million to support Indigenous-led conservation projects

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MONTREAL — Ottawa will spend up to $800 million to support four major Indigenous-led conservation projects across the country covering nearly one million square kilometres of land and water, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday.

Trudeau made the announcement at the Biosphere environment museum in Montreal accompanied by Indigenous leaders and federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault as a UN meeting on global biodiversity, known as COP15, takes place in the city.

Trudeau said the four projects — which will be located in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, northern Ontario and Nunavut — will be developed in partnership with the communities in question.

“Each of these projects is different, because each of these projects is being designed by communities, for communities,” he said.

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Chief Jackson Lafferty, of the Tlicho government in the Northwest Territories, said Indigenous groups have long been working to protect their lands and water but have lacked resources and tools to fully do so.

Lafferty, who attended the announcement, called the funding “a significant step forward on a path to reconciliation across Canada.”

Among the projects to be funded is a marine conservation and sustainability initiative in the Great Bear Sea along British Columbia’s north coast, championed by 17 First Nations in the area.

Another project includes protection for boreal forests, rivers and lands across the Northwest Territories, spearheaded by 30 Indigenous governments.

Funds will also go to an Inuit-led project involving waters and land in Nunavut’s Qikiqtani region and to a project in western James Bay to protect the world’s third largest wetland, led by the Omushkego Cree in Ontario.

Trudeau told reporters that the exact details of the agreements have yet to be worked out — including which portions of the lands will be shielded from resource extraction.

The Indigenous partners, he said, will be able to decide which lands need to be completely protected and where there can be “responsible, targeted development.”

“We know we need jobs, we know we need protected areas, we know we need economic development,” he said. “And nobody knows that, and the importance of that balance, better than Indigenous communities themselves that have been left out of this equation, not just in Canada but around the world, for too long.”

Dallas Smith, president of Nanwakolas Council, said the B.C. funding to help protect the Great Bear Sea would allow Indigenous groups to build on previous agreements to protect the terrestrial lands of Great Bear Rainforest, which were announced about 15 years ago.

“I did media all over the world, and I got home and my elder said, ‘Don’t sprain your arm patting yourself on the back, because until you do the marine component, it doesn’t mean anything,’” he said.

Grand Chief Alison Linklater of the Mushkegowuk Council, which represents seven Cree communities in northern Ontario, said their traditional territory includes ancient peatlands that store “billions of tons” of carbon, as well as wetlands that are home to many migratory birds and fish, and 1,200 kilometres of coastline.

She said caring for the lands is one of her sacred duties as grand chief and one of the main concerns of the people she represents.

“Without our lands and waters we do not exist,” she told the news conference.

In a statement, the federal government said the program would employ a “unique funding model” bringing together government, Indigenous Peoples, philanthropic partners and other investors to secure long-term financing for community-led conservation projects.

The government did not specify how much of the funding would be allocated for each project.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2022.

 

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

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Businesses, Canadians feeling financial pressure of inflation | Watch News Videos Online – Global News

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Canadian businesses are cutting costs and raising prices as profits plummet, while consumers struggle with the rising cost of living. Marney Blunt looks at how everyone is looking to save money, and what credit counsellors are predicting for January 2023.

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Alberta, Saskatchewan chiefs call for sovereignty acts to be withdrawn

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First Nations chiefs from Alberta and Saskatchewan are calling for their provinces to toss proposed legislation they say is inherently undemocratic, unconstitutional and infringes on Indigenous rights.

“We are not looking for change or amendments to the bill. We want it withdrawn,” Chief Tony Alexis said Wednesday on behalf of Treaty 6.

The chiefs are putting forward an emergency resolution at the Assembly of First Nations special assembly to reject sovereignty bills that are before both provincial legislatures.

Alexis, of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation northwest of Edmonton, said there has been no consultation or dialogue with First Nations around the Alberta bill.

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It has been criticized for giving the premier and cabinet unchecked powers to pass laws behind close doors, although amendments to change that have recently been put forward.

Alexis said the bill is harmful to Albertans and Canadians. He said it infringes on treaty rights and could set a harmful precedent.

“We are deeply concerned that, if passed, it would have a domino effect across Canada,” Alexis said. “And what would keep other provinces from following suit and, ultimately, what will that mean for treaty rights across Canada?”

Vice Chief Aly Bear of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations also said the act in Saskatchewan is unconstitutional. The bill, tabled last month, looks to unilaterally amend the Constitution to reassert the province’s jurisdiction over its natural resources.

Premier Scott Moe has said the act doesn’t affect treaty rights and is aimed at growing the economy to benefit all people, including Indigenous people

Bear said, however, that the proposed legislation creates more harm than good. She said there has also not been consultation with Indigenous groups in Saskatchewan.

“If we want to fix that relationship, we have to be sitting down at the table,” she said.

The chiefs said the federal government has, so far, taken a hands-off approach to the bills and encouraged officials to meet with First Nations leaders from the provinces.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief RoseAnne Archibald said she stands with the chiefs in Saskatchewan and Alberta, calling for the acts to be withdrawn.

She said the bills have a specific agenda around lands and resources and that they infringe on First Nations inherent and treaty rights.

“We will not stand idly by.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2022.

— By Kelly Geraldine Malone in Saskatoon

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