Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched an attack on the protestors, telling the House of Commons that his administration was working with law enforcement authorities to “ensure that this protest, which has now become illegal, comes to an end.”
Even though Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared the current truckers’ strike in Ottawa to be “now becoming illegal,” law enforcement officials have not ruled out using the armed troops.
On Wednesday, truckers continued to lay siege to Canada’s capital, showing no signs of relenting. The organizers of the Freedom Convoy 2022 claimed in a statement that they “plan to remain in Ottawa ‘for as long as it takes’ for all mandates associated with Covid 19 to be lifted across Canada.”
Meanwhile, according to CBC News, Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly had a virtual briefing with Ottawa city councillors on the strike, saying, “I am increasingly concerned there is no policing solution to this.”
“We’re looking at every option,” he continued, “including military assistance to civil power.”
The protest organizers said they understand the frustrations of Ottawa residents who have had to deal with traffic and other difficulties since the trucks began arriving in the city on Friday.
Senior convoy leader Chris Barber stated in a statement that the “responsibility” for the situation fell “squarely on the shoulders of politicians who prefer to vilify and call us names instead of engaging in respectful, serious dialogue.”
Trudeau, who advocated for dialogue when protests over agricultural rules began in India in December, has been insistent that he will not speak with protestors’ leaders.
The demonstrators want the mandates for Covid-19 immunization, as well as lockdown and the demand for vaccine passports, to be repealed.
“Organizers have been particularly alarmed by politicians’ extreme and divisive rhetoric, particularly Justin Trudeau’s, who have characterized protesters as racists and even terrorists,” according to the convoy’s news release.
The effort has so far generated over $10 million Canadian dollars ($7.8 million), but GoFundMe, an online fundraising platform, has put the funds on hold while it considers how they will be used.