Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the unusual step of declaring a national public order emergency on Monday

In an effort to put an end to protests that have paralysed the heart of Canada's capital for over two weeks and rippled across the country.

The move, according to Trudeau and several of his Cabinet ministers, will allow the government to take a variety of measures,

including freezing protesters' bank accounts, to clear the blockade of about 400 trucks in Ottawa 

and smaller protests that have shut down border crossings in Alberta and Manitoba.

In a speech to the nation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, 

"We cannot and will not allow illegal and harmful acts to continue,

pointing to “serious challenges to law enforcement’s ability to effectively enforce the law.”