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Emergencies Act 'not necessary' in Manitoba: Premier Heather Stefanson

Manitoba’s premier does not support the use of the Emergencies Act, saying it is 'not necessary' and the province needs to let police do their jobs.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government will, for the first time in the country's history, enact the Emergencies Act to end ongoing trucker convoy protests.

However, shortly after a ministers' meeting with Trudeau, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said she does not support the move.

"The use of the Emergencies Act is very, very serious, and needs to be considered very seriously before enacting something like that," Stefanson said, adding she does not want to 'escalate situations' by invoking the Emergencies Act in Manitoba.

"I think it's important that Manitobans and Canadians know and understand that it's not necessary, and we need to think very carefully and clearly before going in that direction."

The Premier said law enforcement has assured her that they can deal with the protests with the existing tools that exist in the province.

"I think law enforcement is doing very good work, and we need to let them do their jobs," she said, adding she is taking the advice of law enforcement officials in the RCMP and the Winnipeg Police Service.

Stefanson said both agencies are satisfied that they have “full tactical control over operations.”

"At some point, these protests will end one way or another," Stefanson said, adding the province understands what the protesters’ concerns are but it is time for them to go home.

"We just we encourage those protesters, we've heard you loud and clear."

On Monday, organizers of the protest outside the Manitoba Legislature confirmed they will be returning to their families in light of province's decision to lift mandates. However, organizers said some long-haulers plan to remain outside the legislature, protesting federal mandates.

READ MORE: Some protesters to leave the Manitoba Legislature, other long-haulers to remain protesting: organizers

Meanwhile, the protest at the border crossing in Emerson, Man. is still ongoing.

Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew accused the premier of catering to protesters.

"As a parent, when someone is throwing a temper tantrum, I've found if you give them what they want, it kind of cultivates some bad behaviours in the future, and I have to think that Premier Stefanson's approach here is doing a disservice to Manitobans," he said.

Kinew said if the premier opposes the Emergencies Act, he wonders what the alternative is.

"Because the alternative that the premier seems to be proposing today is to do nothing," Kinew said.

"If downtown continues to be occupied, if our borders are still closed, if there are still convoy threats to schools and hospitals in Manitoba, I don't think doing nothing is acceptable."

It is a sentiment shared by Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont.

"These protests are not lawful. It is not lawful to just park your truck in the middle of the highway," he said.

"The PCs have completely abandoned any responsibility for maintaining law and order in this province." 

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Quebec Premier Francois Legault all said Monday they were not in favour of the Emergencies Act being applied in their provinces.

-With files from The Canadian Press Top Stories

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