Conservatives split on whether convoy protest should stay or vacate Parliament Hill

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Published February 8, 2022 at 4:07 pm

OTTAWA — Conservatives appear increasingly split over whether a protest against COVID-19 health restrictions in the nation’s capital should stay or go. 

Many Tory members of Parliament have pledged full support to the protesters, including recently elected interim leader Candice Bergen and Pierre Poilievre, the first candidate to announce his bid for party leadership. 

Entering the House of Commons today, Alberta Conservative MP John Barlow says he doesn’t think the protesters should leave and believes they have been respectful, adding some of his constituents are in the crowd.

But during an emergency debate on the protest late Monday, Ontario Tory MP Michael Chong said it’s time for protesters to stop blockading Ottawa and go home, saying that they have made their point. 

Since protesters arrived nearly two weeks ago on Parliament Hill, the surrounding blocks have been clogged with idling semi-trucks and personal vehicles. 

An Ontario court recently granted a 10-day injunction against protesting vehicles from honking their horns incessantly. 

Nearby businesses have also chosen to shut their doors as there have been reports of abusive behaviour and flouting of COVID-19 public health rules by the demonstrators.

The protesters’ refusal to leave has prompted pleas from Ottawa’s mayor for more federal help and police resources and the city to declare a state of emergency. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2022.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

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