The latest on protests against COVID-19 measures in Ottawa and beyond

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Published February 5, 2022 at 11:48 am

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:

11:45 a.m.

Several dozen protesters have gathered at the Ontario legislature in downtown Toronto this morning.

Many are waving Canada flags and some are holding signs that say vaccine mandates should be ended.

Police have closed off roads near the legislature where several hospitals are located.

11:20 a.m.

Police in Ottawa have said they are expecting as many as 400 more trucks and up to 2,000 people on foot to arrive this weekend to join the protest that has been rebranded by critics, including a lot of frustrated downtown residents, as an occupation.

Downtown Ottawa residents have endured a week of blaring truck horns, blocked streets and racial taunts from aggressive participants.

Many city-dwellers have expressed frustration with the fact that little has changed days into the protest.

A counter-protest is set to take place in the national capital this afternoon, and organizer Mackenzie Demers says he hopes the event will be safe.

But he says the protesters’ presence poses underlying danger for visible minorities and members of the LGTBQ community.

A number of rallies are set to take place in cities across Canada today in solidarity with those who have been camped out in Ottawa.

Demonstrations are scheduled in cities including Toronto, Quebec City, Fredericton, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver, among others.

11 a.m.

The battle to end the week-long conflict with protesters opposed to vaccines and other restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 is moving to the legal arena today.

An Ottawa lawyer is to appear before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to argue a class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of downtown Ottawa residents seeking millions of dollars in damages and an injunction “prohibiting the continuation of the nuisance.”

The statement of claim names protest organizers Tamara Lich, Patrick King, Chris Barber and others as defendants but has not been proven in court.

Lawyer Paul Champ will appear in court this afternoon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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