Feb 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ottawa protestors not "going anywhere" until vaccine mandate is dropped

Photo: Arindam Shivaani/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Protesters waiving signs in front of the Parliament building in Ottawa, Canada. Photo: Arindam Shivaani/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Truck drivers, who have protested in Ottawa, Canada for more than five days, said Wednesday they won't vacate Canada's capitol until a COVID vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers is dropped, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: The protest began last week, and has been punctuated by reports of violence and unruly behavior. Ottawa police have declined to end the protests despite a mounting list of complaints from nearby residents, per Reuters.

The backdrop: Earlier this week, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said intelligence and investigative officers were being deployed to curb the unruly behavior at the protests.

  • Sloly also said police had "several active criminal investigations undergoing from bribery to threats to assault to the dangerous operation of vehicles."
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced protesters Monday for their behavior, which included flying "racist flags" in the Canadian capitol, adding that there "is no place in our country for threats, violence or hatred."

What they're saying: "We understand your frustration ... but the responsibility for your inconvenience lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians," protest leader Chris Barber said, per Reuters.

  • "We are here and we are not going anywhere until we achieve our objective, to see an end of all COVID-19 mandates and with that a restoration of freedoms of all Canadians," he added.

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