‘It has to stop’: Trudeau demands end to trucker protest saying ‘people waving swastikas’ don’t represent Canada

Some angry at Trudeau labelling protestors as far-right fringe group

Justin Trudeau urges Canadians to continue ‘listening to science’ to get through pandemic.mp4

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has demanded an end to the continuing protest by hundreds of truckers against Covid-19 restrictions that has paralysed Ottawa for 12 days.

“It has to stop,” Mr Trudeau said during an emergency debate in the House of Commons on Monday night following his return to parliament after isolating for a week due to a positive Covid-19 test.

“People of Ottawa don’t deserve to be harassed in their own neighbourhoods, don’t deserve to be confronted with the inherent violence of a swastika flying on a street corner, or a confederate flag, or the insults and jeers just because they’re wearing a mask. That’s not who Canadians are,” the prime minister said. “These pandemic restrictions are not forever.”

The prime minister added: “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.”

Mr Trudeau’s remarks on Monday have sparked anger among supporters of the truckers who say he is trying to label them as far-right extremists.

He was likely referring to the initial days of the protest two weekends ago when signs and flags with Nazi symbols were seen in the crowds alongside upside down Canadian flags and even a Trump 2024 and a confederate flag. There have been no recent sightings of swastikas or similar emblems.

Mr Trudeau is keen to point out that the truckers are representative of just a small portion of the population. Only approximately 10 per cent of Canadians remain unvaccinated, although as many as one-third are sympathetic to the protest, according to one survey.

“This pandemic has sucked for all Canadians,” he said. “Everyone’s tired of Covid, but these protests are not the way to get through it.”

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest in downtown Toronto, Ontario, on Saturday

The prime minister added: “But Canadians know the way to get through it is continuing to listen to science, continuing to lean on each other.”

He pledged that the federal government would provide support “with whatever resources the province and city need”. Last week he ruled out deploying the army to disperse the protestors “for now”.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has asked the federal government to send an additional 1,800 police officers and appoint a mediator to work with protesters to “end this siege”.

On Sunday, Mr Watson declared a state of emergency in the city, declaring the protests "out of control”. In addition to the forced closures of local businesses and blocked streets, downtown Ottawa residents were also harassed by incessant honking of truck air horns until a court order silenced them for ten days.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in