The latest on protests against COVID-19 measures in Ottawa and beyond
Published February 8, 2022 at 1:31 pm
The latest developments on ongoing protests against COVID-19 restrictions and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, both in Ottawa and various cities across Canada. All times eastern:
Christian fundraising site GiveSendGo — which has provided a home for the so-called “freedom convoy” fundraising campaign after GoFundMe axed it — says it will not conflate individuals trying to incite violence with the movement as a whole.
GiveSendGo says in a statement it has been in contact with the campaign organizers and received “full assurance” funds will go to provide humanitarian aid and legal support for the “peaceful truckers and their families.”
The fundraising site says that it does not condone “violence of any form.”
The fundraising site was blocked by PayPal last year after its use to raise funds for those who attended the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
A data breach, reported by the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, showed that GiveSendGo raised millions of dollars for far-right movements and groups such as the Proud Boys, who are designated a terrorist group in Canada.
Ottawa’s city manager says all tow-truck companies on contract with the city have refused to haul away the big rigs that have gridlocked Ottawa’s downtown for the second week in a row.
Steve Kanellakos says the consensus seems to be that many of the companies don’t want to do the work because the heavy truck industry is such a large part of their livelihoods and they won’t want to damage that part of their businesses.
He says the city is reviewing the contracts to see what recourse it has in this unprecedented situation.
In the meantime, Ottawa’s mayor has reached out to other large Ontario cities to see if they can help, and the city is calling companies across Eastern Ontario.
Alberta RCMP say some vehicles are now able to drive through the U.S. border crossing in Southern Alberta after both lanes were blocked again last night by anti-vaccine mandate protesters.
Commercial and passenger vehicles travelling northbound from the U.S. are able to cross freely near Coutts, Alta., but Mounties say large commercial vehicles travelling south are being asked to find alternative routes to avoid delays.
Federal cabinet ministers and Ottawa’s mayor met late Monday to find solutions to end the anti-vaccine mandate protest that has snarled the Canadian capital for over a week.
Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said on Twitter today that he was joined by Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino in talks with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and city officials.
The meeting came after Watson sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday.
The mayor asked for another 1,800 police officers in addition to his current contingent of 2,100 police and civilian members to “quell the insurrection” in Ottawa.
Quebec Liberal MP Joel Lightbound says it’s time his government stops dividing Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lightbound broke publicly with his political party today, telling reporters the government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continues to “demonize” people who have legitimate criticisms of the way the pandemic is being managed.
He says the government must provide Canadians with a clear and measurable road map detailing when federal restrictions related to the pandemic will be lifted.
The MP for the Louis-Hebert riding in Quebec City spoke to reporters the same time as a Liberal party cabinet meeting was scheduled, a day after MPs held an emergency debate on the ongoing trucker protest outside Parliament Hill.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2022.
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