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As it happenedended1643674484

Canada convoy: Truckers ban media as Trudeau refuses meeting and calls protest an ‘insult to truth’

Canadian truckers convoy protest continues

Ottawa mayor condemns desecration of National War Memorial, Terry Fox statue

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

As the truckers’ convoy that descended on Ottawa a few days ago shows no sign of departing, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced he has tested positive for Covid-19.

“This morning, I tested positive for Covid-19,” he tweeted. “I’m feeling fine – and I’ll continue to work remotely this week while following public health guidelines. Everyone, please get vaccinated and get boosted.”

On Monday, in an address to the nation, Mr Trudeau said Canadians were disgusted by the behaviour of some of the protesters.

“We are not intimidated by those who hurl abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless,” he said. “We won’t give in to those who fly racist flags. We won’t cave to those who engage in vandalism.”

Ottawa police say the number of protestors and vehicles has significantly reduced in the past 12 hours and there have been no deaths or injuries reported.

They have launched multiple investigations into the ‘desecration’ of monuments by the Freedom Convoy protesters, of hate crimes, and of other illegal behaviour. A hotline is being set up for residents to report any incidents to the authorities.

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Soup kitchen says member assaulted by protesters

ICYMI: A soup kitchen in Ottawa has given more details of the harassment its staff received over meals by members of the trucking convoy.

The Shepherds of Good Hope said on twitter that one its community members had been assaulted and a security guard was threatened and called “racial slurs” during a “difficult 24 hours.”

“Friends, it’s been a difficult 24 hours. Staff harassed for meals. A service user and security guard assaulted. Through it all, you have donated and filled our hearts with gratitude. Every cent will support people experiencing homelessness,” they tweeted.

Graeme Massie31 January 2022 03:08
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Ottawa major says residents feel like ‘prisoners’ in own city

ICYMI: “Quite frankly, they feel they’re prisoners in their own home. And so my hope is that at some point, the police reach the conclusion that it’s time to have a serious discussion about moving these people on. They can’t keep blocking routes that are emergency routes, that are bus routes, that allow people to get in and out of the downtown core,” he told CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton.

“You have the right to protest, you’ve had your protest, please move on. Our city has to get back in normal stead.”

(AP)
Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 03:45
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Protesters say they are not leaving Ottawa

ICYMI: BJ Dichter, who is one of the organisers behind a GoFundMe page that has raised more than $8 million to support the convoy, said on Sunday their aim is create a “logistics nightmare” for the Canadian government and force it to repeal its vaccine mandates.

“Right now, yeah, it’s really cold, but we hang in there, the days are going to get longer and we take this block party and put it into overdrive,” he said at a press conference with only certain media outlets invited.

“We’re in this one for the long haul. We don’t have a time limit.”

(AP)
Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 04:20
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Donald Trump gives shoutout to truckers

Former President Donald Trump gave a shoutout to protesting truckers as he held a rally in Conroe, Texas.

During a speech in which he also suggested he would pardon Capitol rioters if he ran and won the 2024 presidential election, Mr Trump said: “We want those great Canadian truckers to know that we are with them all the way”.

Eric Garcia has more:

Trump hints at pardoning people held in jail for January 6

The former president made the remarks in Texas Saturday evening.

Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 05:23
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Ottawa police launches criminal investigation against protestors

Ottawa police have launched a criminal investigation into the incident of protestors climbing atop a cenotaph and dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier among other violent acts seen during the protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and safety protocols, officials said on Sunday.

“Several criminal investigations are underway in relation to the desecration of the National War Memorial/Terry Fox statue, threatening/illegal/intimidating behaviour to police/city workers and other individuals and damage to a city vehicle,” the Ottawa police said on Twitter.

They added: “Illegal behaviour will not be tolerated and will be fully investigated. We have investigative and evidence-gathering teams in place to support the management of the demonstration.”

The police will not be taking reports through social media, asking for the incidents to be directly reported to them.

New videos on social media showed protestors from the “Freedom Convoy” on Saturday at Parliament Hill and nearby areas damaging the National War Memorial in the demonstration. One of the protestors was seen jumping on the Tomb of the Unknown soldier and yelling “freedom” as he was being filmed.

Full story here:

Police probe Canada trucker convoy member seen dancing on tomb of unknown soldier

Several criminal investigations are underway in relation to the desecration, officials say

Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 05:54
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Blockade preventing access to US border ‘must end’, says Alberta premier

Alberta’s premier has asked for the vehicle blockade preventing access to the Canada-US border crossing to end, warning it “dangerously” impedes emergency services.

“This blockade must end immediately,” Jason Kenney said in a statement on Sunday. “[It] could dangerously impede the movement of emergency service vehicles.”

The massive blockade of vehicles on the US-Canada border since Saturday afternoon is a result of the ongoing nationwide protests called by truckers who are demanding a repeal of vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns.

It has brought traffic between the US and Canada to a standstill.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement earlier that the efforts to clear the area are ongoing and they are coordinating with the protesting truckers.

Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 06:25
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Ottawa police estimates protest costs at $800k a day, urges resident to avoid travel

The Ottawa police have estimated the policing costs of managing the protest at more than $800,000 (£468,000) per day, urging residents to not travel towards the downtown core.

“Throughout the weekend, the Ottawa Police Service and its partners have been actively and patiently managing a well-funded, major demonstration in the downtown core,” the police of the Canadian capital said in a statement released on Sunday.

“We have seen multiple cases of disruptive, inappropriate and threatening behaviour from demonstrators.”

“Along with the safety issues, costs to businesses and social costs, the Ottawa Police continues to tally the financial costs of the policing costs which are estimated at more than $800,000 a day,” the statement further said.

“Police are aware that many demonstrators have announced their intention to stay in place. This will continue to cause major traffic, noise and safety issues in the downtown core. We urge all residents to avoid travel to the core,” the statement said, adding that the police has so far avoided ticketing and towing vehicle to not instigate the demonstrators.

“Still, confrontations and the need for de-escalation has regularly been required,” it said.

The police asked those working in the downtown core to plan to work from home if possible. It also said if children attend school in the downtown area, parents should first check if the school is open tomorrow

Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 07:00
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Canada’s House of Commons will resume on Monday despite protests

Canada’s House of Commons will resume work on Monday as scheduled, after a six-week holiday break, despite the convoy protestors and vehicles blocking access to parliament.

“The House will reconvene at 11 am tomorrow, as planned, in accordance with the Standing Orders,” the Speaker’s office confirmed on Sunday.

No comment has been made on what security arrangements will be in place with thousands of protesters expected to still be in Ottawa.

Truckers have threatened to remain in the capital until their demands are met.

Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 07:18
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‘Fringe minority is actually the government,' Elon Musk tweets on Canada truckers' protests

Tesla CEO Elon Musk once again took a jibe at the Canadian government over the ongoing demonstrations by truckers, saying that the so-called “fringe minority” seemed to actually be the government.

In a tweet on Sunday replying to the footage of crowded Ottawa streets, Musk said: “It would appear that the so-called “fringe minority” is actually the government.”

In another tweet, he said: ‘If the government had the mandate of the people, there would be a significant counter-protest. There is not, therefore they do not.”

This isn’t the first time Musk appears to have given his stamp of approval to Canadian truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates for cross-border drivers.

Earlier on Thursday, Musk tweeted “Canadian truckers rule” as reports of the truckers protesting in Ottawa made international news.

Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 08:00
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Downtown Ottawa to return to ‘significant level’ of normalcy within a day or two, police chief says

Downtown Ottawa may see a “significant level” of normalcy in the coming 24 to 48 hours, the chief of the capital city’s police has said.

“We have some relative hope that within the next 24 to 48 hours, we’ll be back to a significant level, if not a full level of normalcy,” Peter Sloly, Ottawa police chief was quoted by Ottawa Citizen as saying on Sunday.

The prediction comes after the last few days of chaotic demonstrations by the truckers which included the desecration of the National War Memorial and Terry Fox statue.

The leaders of demonstrators have announced to stay in the Canadian capital “as long as it takes” for the government to fold and withdraw vaccine mandates.

The police have registered several cases against the demonstrators for the chaos over the weekend.

Stuti Mishra31 January 2022 08:25

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