September 26, 2022
Protesters gather on Parliament hill as trucks continue to block the downtown core in protest of Covid-19 mandates in Ottawa, February 5, 2022 © Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press via AP

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Ottawa mayor declares emergency

The “Freedom Convoy” gridlock that has paralysed the Canada ‘s capital city Ottawa for days has now been placed under emergency by the mayor Jim Watson.

The “Freedom Convoy” protesters who had brought their trucks from all over Canada descended on the capital to protest the Covid 19 mandates paralysing the capital. Mayor Jim Watson on Sunday declared a city emergency citing “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents,” as Freedom Convoy truckers and their pedestrian supporters continue to occupy the capital. The move comes after Watson lamented earlier on Sunday that police have been outnumbered by the demonstrators, and indicated he wants the federal government to help quash the protest.

“The situation at this point is completely out of control because the individuals with the protest are calling the shots,” Watson told Newstalk radio. “They have far more people than we have police officers and I’ve indicated to the chief that we have to be much more nimble and proactive when it comes to these activities.” Police have been mounting barricades across key city points and threatening to arrest anybody bringing food and supplies to the protest encampment.

So far the protests have been peaceful with no property damage and the protesters have vowed to continue until the Canadian government repeals the Covid 19 mandates and QR code health passports. Royal Canadian Mounted Police have accused the protesters of “extremely disruptive and unlawful behaviour, which presented risks to public safety and unacceptable distress for Ottawa residents.” Meanwhile, some officials have repeatedly fantasised about the spectre of the January 6 Capitol “insurrection” in the US.

A spokesperson for the Minister of Defence told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, “The Canadian Armed Forces are not involved in law enforcement in this situation, and there are no plans for such CAF involvement.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also said Thursday that a military response is “not in the cards right now. “One has to be very, very cautious before deploying military forces in situations engaging Canadians,” he said.

Source AP/Reuters

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