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Canada: tension grows due to truckers and anti-vaccine protests against sanitary measures

The tension in Canada increases every day due to the demonstrations that take place in different parts of the country, mainly in Ottawa, against health measures taken by the coronavirus pandemic.

This Monday, in his first appearance in the House of Commons after contracting Covid-19 on January 31, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused anti-vaccine and radical groups that have occupied the streets surrounding Parliament for ten days. canadian, from “block” the economy, democracy and the daily lives of other citizens.

“Canadians have the right to protestto disagree with their government and to have their voices heard,” said Trudeau, who participated in an emergency parliamentary debate requested by the social democrat New Democratic Party (NPD), with the aim of dealing with the protest that both the mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, like the Canadian capital’s police chief, Peter Sloly, described as “occupation”.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the protest “has to stop.” PhotoBlair Gable/Reuters

Despite this attempt to be understanding, the official considered that the protest “has to stop”. In addition, he pointed out that the Ottawa Police has already been reinforced with 300 RCMP officers and will provide the resources that the city needs to respond to the situation.

This pandemic has been shit for all Canadians! But Canadians know that the only way out is to keep listening to science,” he stressed, visibly irritated by the protests.

In recent days, both the federal and Ottawa authorities have been criticized for their inactivity in restoring order in the Canadian capital and preventing the anti-vaccine protest from turning into a chaotic occupation of the Parliament area.

This Monday, Sloly acknowledged during a press conference his inability to restore order in the capital and called for the dispatch of 1,800 agents from the Mounted Police and other nearby cities to control the situation.

Measures to mitigate the impact

Faced with neighborhood pressure, the Ottawa Police arrested 20 people on Monday and imposed some 500 fines for non-compliance with local regulationssuch as the transport of fuel to keep trucks running or excess noise from the constant use, day and night, of vehicle horns.

In parallel, a judge Banned protesters from using loudspeakers dozens of trucks blocking the streets around Parliament for ten days. This is a practice that the truck drivers carried out since the beginning of the protest and that caused clashes with the neighbors.

For ten days protesters have been using the horns of their high-tonnage trucks day and night, which has caused clashes with neighbors.

The front door of the Parliament of Canada, covered with posters related to the protest.  Photo Dave Chan/AFP

The front door of the Parliament of Canada, covered with posters related to the protest. Photo Dave Chan/AFP

The protests began in that city on Saturday the 29th and spread this weekend to other large Canadian cities. This Sunday, dozens of trucks and protesters paralyzed the center of the capital, located in the province of Ontario.

The movement, called “Freedom Convoy”, initially aimed against the decision to force truckers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to cross the border with the United States.

The protest, which attracted more than 3,000 trucks and between 10,000 and 15,000 protesters, including far-right organizations, to Ottawa, later turned into a mobilization against all health measures and against the Trudeau government.

Ottawa ‘out of control’

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared Sunday that the situation in the city was “out of control” as protesters “lay their law” and are “far more than our police.”

We are losing the battle (…) we must recover the city”, recognized the mayor, who considered “unacceptable” the behavior of the protesters who block streets and the truckers who do not stop sounding their horns.

Similar movements, but on a smaller scale, took place on Saturday in several major Canadian cities such as Toronto, Quebec or Winnipeg, and continued on Sunday, especially in Quebec.

With information from EFE and AFP

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