Trudeau talking to premiers, holding rare Monday caucus meeting as protests continue

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling the premiers this morning and holding a rare Monday cabinet meeting as the convoy protest in Ottawa stretches into its third week.

Sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly, told CBC News Trudeau will brief the premiers and discuss ongoing blockades and protests across the country. The meeting is expected to take place about 10 a.m. ET.

It follows meetings Sunday of the federal cabinet and the cabinet’s Incident Response Group (IRG).

Trudeau tweeted late Sunday that the IRG discussed “further actions the government can take to help end the blockades and occupations.”

Earlier that day, Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair told Rosie Barton Live the federal government has discussed invoking special emergency powers to deal with ongoing protests in Ottawa. 

Blair described the attitude around invoking the Emergencies Act, which has never been implemented before, as “appropriate caution” rather than “reticence.”

The law gives the federal government carte blanche to cope with a crisis.

The legislation, which replaced the War Measures Act, defines a national emergency as a temporary “urgent and critical situation” that “seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians and is of such proportions or nature as to exceed the capacity or authority of a province to deal with it.”

While Blair emphasized it was important to make sure that “the appropriate authorities that are with the provinces are fully utilized,” he said the federal government was “prepared to do everything necessary.”

The War Measures Act was most famously used by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau during the FLQ crisis.

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