Canadian PM asserts truckers’ strike in Ottawa “has to stop”


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emerged from isolation on Monday evening and attended an emergency session of Canada’s House of Commons and asserted that the truckers’ strike in Ottawa “has to stop”. His appearance at the in-person sitting was an unexpected addition to his schedule which had earlier stated he was only due for private meetings at an undisclosed location in the National Capital Region.

However, facing a barrage of criticism from the opposition over being missing in action as the agitation by the Freedom Convoy 2022 has laid siege to the country’s capital for the last 11 days, Trudeau addressed MPs and said, “Everyone is tired of Covid, but these protests are not the way to get through it.”

There were no updates from the prime minister’s office on whether Trudeau, who was in self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, had been cleared to physically attend the session.

Trudeau also took to Twitter to attack the protestors again, as he said, “Canadians have the right to protest, to disagree with their government, and to make their voices heard. We’ll always protect that right. But let’s be clear: They don’t have the right to blockade our economy, or our democracy, or our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop.” Earlier in the day, leader of the opposition, and interim Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen, in a letter to Trudeau, said that “leadership is about listening”. Instead, she wrote, “Your comments last week have been dismissive about a “fringe” with “unacceptable views”, and since then you have been largely absent.”

In a joint statement, Bill Blair, Minister of Emergency Preparedness, Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety and Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport described the protests as “unacceptable”.

“No matter how much a small minority may hold themselves above public health measures, they are not above the law,” they said.

As the demonstrations garner global attention, law enforcement action has been scaled up, but organisers of the protests have given no indication that these will be wound down any time soon.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)