Montreal (Canada) The ongoing truckers’ protest in Ottawa is “out of control,” according to the mayor, who declared a state of emergency as the city center remained blocked by opponents of anti-Covid legislation.
The Canadian capital of Ottawa has declared a state of emergency as a truckers’ protest camp there enters its eleventh day.
On Sunday, municipal Mayor Jim Watson issued a brief statement declaring the emergency. “Due to the ongoing demonstration,” the decision was made.
The declaration of a state of emergency grants the city extra authorities, including access to emergency services and frontline personnel’ equipment.
The declaration of emergency “reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government” according to a statement released by the municipal officials.
“Declaring a state of emergency reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by ongoing demonstrations and emphasizes the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government,” the statement continued.
The city has been under siege since January 28, when truckers began arriving under the name of Freedom Convoy 2022, with the claimed goal of remaining in Ottawa until the government abolished restrictions like as a vaccination mandate on truckers travelling between Canada and the United States. They are also opposed to other Covid-19-related measures like lockdowns.
While the trucks have showed no signs of leaving Ottawa, Watson has also asked the government to intervene. In an interview with CTV, he stated that “some kind of mediation is needed to get this situation resolved because it’s now spreading all across the country.”
Following the attack on protestors last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has remained mute and stays at an unknown location in the National Capital Region for security concerns. Trudeau has also been placed in self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 on January 30.
The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) stated in a statement that it continues to “advise demonstrators not to enter Ottawa and to return home.”
In addition, enforcement efforts have been strengthened. According to the OPS, 97 criminal offence investigations have been opened in connection with the demonstration, while intelligence and evidence gathering teams continue to collect financial, digital, vehicle registration, driver identification, insurance status, and other related evidence that will be used in criminal prosecutions.