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'This Is Madness': State of Emergency in Ottawa As Truckers' Protest Escalates

City council member Diane Deans said over the weekend that the truckers were "a threat to our democracy."

Published
World
2 min read
'This Is Madness': State of Emergency in Ottawa As Truckers' Protest Escalates
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Stating that the truckers' protest in Ottawa is "out of control," the mayor of the Canadian capital imposed a state of emergency in the city on Sunday, 6 February.

Mayor Jim Watson told CFRA radio that "we have to get our city back."

"The state 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."
Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa

Protests amongst the trucking community of Canada erupted last month after the Justin Trudeau administration, on 15 January, imposed a vaccine mandate that required truckers to provide proof of vaccination before entering Canada from the United States.

Bilateral trade between the US and Canada is worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

A huge part of this trade involves the shipment of goods through trucks.

The new mandate says that truckers crossing into Canada from the US have to be quarantined for 14 days if they are not fully vaccinated.

The 'Freedom Convoy', which had begun as a truckers rally against the new mandate, has now escalated into a protest against the government's overall COVID response.
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Thousands of protesters rocked Ottawa over the weekend, joining the hundreds who had been protesting since last weekend.

Residents have complained of the continuous blaring of horns and traffic disruption.

Non-protestors are upset about the provocative and crass behaviour of the truckers, such as setting off fireworks on the grounds of the National War Memorial, and urinating on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

City council member Diane Deans said over the weekend that the truckers were "a threat to our democracy" and "what we're seeing is bigger than just a city of Ottawa problem, this is a nationwide insurrection. This is madness," reported AFP.

The protest became international after prominent US personalities like Elon Musk and former US President Donald Trump expressed support for the truckers.

(With inputs from AFP and CFRA Radio.)

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