Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday invoked emergency powers in a bid to quell the protests by truck drivers and others who have paralyzed Ottawa and blocked border crossings in anger over COVID-19 restrictions, The Associated Press reported.

In invoking Canada's Emergencies Act, which gives the federal government broad powers to restore order, Trudeau ruled out using the military.

He gave assurances the emergency measures "will be time-limited, geographically targeted, as well as reasonable and proportionate to the threats they are meant to address."

"These blockades are illegal, and if you are still participating the time to go home is now," Trudeau declared after meeting virtually with leaders of the country's provinces.

Hundreds and sometimes thousands of protesters in trucks and other vehicles have clogged the streets of the Canadian capital of Ottawa for more than two weeks. The protesters have besieged Parliament Hill in demonstration against vaccine mandates for truckers and other COVID-19 precautions.

The Ottawa protests included several incidents in which Nazi symbols, including swastikas, were displayed.

Members of the so-called “Freedom Convoy” have also blockaded various US-Canadian border crossings. The busiest one, the Ambassador Bridge which connects Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, was reopened on Sunday after police arrested dozens of demonstrators.

One of the protest organizers in Ottawa vowed not to back down in the face of pressure from the government.

Doug Ford, the Conservative premier of Ontario, indicated support for the emergency action before the meeting with Trudeau, saying, "We need law and order. Our country is at risk now."