Trudeau: Anti-vaccine mandate trucker protest ‘has to stop’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the anti-COVID-19 vaccine demonstration in Ottawa “has to stop”.
“Canadians have the right to protest, to disagree with their government, and to make their voices heard. We’ll always protect that right,” Trudeau tweeted on Tuesday. “But let’s be clear: They don’t have the right to blockade our economy, or our democracy, or our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop.”
Trudeau also said that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been mobilized to help support the Ottawa Police Services (OPS) with the ongoing demonstrations.
“We’re also working with municipal partners to further strengthen our response, and we’ll continue to be there with whatever resources are needed to get the situation under control,” he added.
OPS said in a statement on Sunday it has launched 60 criminal investigations stemming from the protests, including mischief, thefts, hate crimes and property damage charges. It has also arrested seven people in connection to the protests.
This comes as the city of Ottawa declared a state of emergency on Sunday in response to the second week of protests against local COVID-19 restrictions.
Starting last month, truck drivers must be fully vaccinated to be permitted entry into Canada, following a similar requirement the U.S. government implemented on truck drivers entering that country.
New Zealand residents also held their own “Convoy for Freedom” demonstrations in protest of its government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates on Monday.