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Court grants ‘honking injunction’ against ‘Freedom Convoy’

‘Tooting a horn is not an expression of any great thought I’m aware of’

Sravasti Dasgupta
Tuesday 08 February 2022 15:03 GMT
Trucker protest causes delays at Ambassador Bridge

A court in Canada has granted an injunction preventing truckers participating in the ongoing “Freedom Convoy” against Covid-19 vaccine mandates from honking as a part of their protest.

Truckers have been blocking the US-Canada highway for 11 days in protest against the Trudeau government’s vaccine mandate that requires all truckers entering Canada to be vaccinated to avoid quarantine.

The protest has since spread to other parts of the country.

Residents in downtown Ottawa, which has been gridlocked by the protests, have opposed the blaring horns.

Granting the injunction against honking, justice Hugh McLean of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice said, “tooting a horn is not an expression of any great thought I’m aware of,” reported Jurist.

The injunction request was a part of a proposed class-action lawsuit filed with the court by lawyer Paul Champ on behalf of Zexi Li and its members include “all persons who reside in Ottawa, Ontario, from Bay Street to Elgin Street and Lisgar Street to Wellington Street”.

During the hearing, Justice McLean said that while he has heard enough to determine that the blaring of horns was affecting residents, he added that the injunction is temporary as more evidence needs to be heard.

The court also refused the defendants’ request to blast horns for 5 minutes at a designated time.

Meanwhile, authorities said on Monday that the number of trucks had reduced at the blockade sites.

Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly said that the police had counted 1,000 trucks and 5,000 protesters this weekend which was less than 10,000 trucks and 15,000 protesters counted last weekend, reported Reuters.

“We are turning up the heat in every way we possibly can,” Mr Sloly said to reporters.

“We are asking for a major push of resources to come in the next 72 hours.”

Prime minister Justin Trudeau also appeared for the first time in a week on Monday after he was infected with Covid-19.

In response to an emergency debate in parliament Mr Trudeau said that the protest has to stop.

“This is a story of a country that got through this pandemic by being united and a few people shouting and waving swastikas does not define who Canadians are,” he said.

In a letter to Mr Trudeau and public safety minister Marco Mendicino on Monday, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson asked for more reinforcements.

“The occupation has turned into an aggressive and hateful occupation of our neighbourhoods,” he wrote in the letter.

“People are living in fear and are terrified.” He called the honking “tantamount to psychological warfare.”

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