Supporters of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ of truckers driving from British Columbia to Ottawa in protest against a Covid-19 vaccine mandate gather near a highway overpass outside of Toronto, Ontario
A convoy of truckers opposed to Covid-19 vaccine mandates made its way through southwestern Ontario on Thursday, as it continues its snaking journey through the heart of Canada.
The protest is being organized by Canada Unity, a group that opposes Covid-related measures.
Its leaders want prime minister Justin Trudeau and his government to drop the vaccine mandate for truckers crossing the Canada-US border and do away with other public health protections.
The Canadian federal government instituted vaccine mandates for cross-border truckers throughout the country. But as many as 32,000, or 20 per cent, of the 160,000 Canadian and American cross-border truck drivers may be taken off the roads due to the mandate, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).
Some high-profile vaccine-sceptics, such as Elon Musk and Joe Rogan, have praised the protesting truckers. Mr Rogan stated that Canada is “in revolt”, with the Toronto Sun claiming that up to 50,000 truckers will end up completing the journey to the capital.
By contrast, Prime Minister Trudeau has characterised the protesters as a “small fringe minority who are on the way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views.”
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Elon Musk tweets his support for Canada truckers
The billionaire owner of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk appears to have given his stamp of approval to Canadian truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates for cross-border drivers.
On Thursday, Mr Musk tweeted that “Canadian truckers rule” as reports of the truckers protesting in Ottawa made international news.
Nathan Place29 January 2022 01:00
Many protest supporters are donating under false names, report says
According to a CTV analysis, many people who donated to a GoFundMe for today’s protests did so under false names – including those of Justin Trudeau and his wife.
Nathan Place29 January 2022 00:30
Ottawa closes bridge due to protests
Ottawa officials have closed another major thoroughfare as the protests continue, this time the Alexandra Bridge.
“Alexandra Bridge closed – demonstration,” the City of Ottawa tweeted. “OPS directing traffic. Duration unknown.”
Nathan Place29 January 2022 00:00
Why are Canadian truckers protesting in Ottawa?
Here’s a look at what Canadian truckers are protesting, what they plan to do this weekend, and why:
Nathan Place28 January 2022 23:30
Here’s what Justin Trudeau has said about the protests
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has called the truckers protesting in Ottawa a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views.” Protesters have reacted to those words with a mix of outrage and glee, with some sarcastically throwing the phrases back at Mr Trudeau on social media.
As the demonstration continues, here’s a closer look at what Mr Trudeau said:
Nathan Place28 January 2022 23:00
Police repeat warning that violence will be punished
As the protest in Ottawa continues, police have repeated their warning that violent demonstrators will be prosecuted.
“We welcome peaceful demonstrations,” the Ottawa Police Service tweeted on Friday evening. “Public safety is paramount – there will be consequences for persons engaging in criminal conduct, violence and/or activities promoting hate.”
Nathan Place28 January 2022 22:34
‘Freedom’ honks continue outside Canadian Parliament
As truckers in Ottawa continue to protest for “freedom,” they’ve made it clear that freedom is very, very loud.
Nathan Place28 January 2022 22:16
Honking protesters fill Ottawa with deafening noise
Ottawa became one of the noisiest places on earth on Friday as an entire protest of truckers honked their horns.
Nathan Place28 January 2022 21:54
Police chief warns violent protesters will be arrested
Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly warned on Friday that any protester who turns violent will arrested and prosecuted.
“Let me be very clear: we are prepared to investigate, arrest if necessary, charge and prosecute anyone who acts violently or breaks the law in the demonstrations, or in association with the demonstrations,” Mr Sloly said.
The police chief has also said, however, that so far the protests have remained “peaceful and uneventful.”
Nathan Place28 January 2022 21:41
Ottawa closes street due to protests
Ottawa officials have closed down a large stretch of Metcalfe Street, which ends at Canada’s parliament, due to the ongoing protests.
“Metcalfe closed between Queen and Wellington – demonstration,” the City of Ottawa warned residents in a tweet. “OPS directing traffic. Duration unknown. Avoid area and use other routes.”
Nathan Place28 January 2022 21:05