Feb 3, 2022 - World

Trudeau says sending troops to disperse Ottawa protest "not in the cards"

Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau on Jan. 31. Photo: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a press briefing Thursday declined to commit to deploying troops to deal with an anti-vaccine mandate protest by truckers from all over the country in Ottawa, saying it's "not in the cards right now."

Driving the news: The demonstrators have shut down the Canadian capital for more than six days and have vowed not to vacate the city until a COVID vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers is dropped.

The big picture: Asked during a press briefing Thursday if he would consider sending in the military to end the protests, Trudeau said the government is focused on supporting the city of Ottowa and the government of Ontario, and that "we will, of course, look at any formal requests they send us."

  • "One has to be very, very cautious before deploying military" in "situations engaging Canadians," he added.
  • "As of now, there have been no requests and that is not in the cards right now."

Background: Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said earlier this week that intelligence and investigative officers were being deployed to curb the unruly behavior at the protests.

  • Sloly said Wednesday his department was "looking at every single option, including military aid," per Reuters.

Trudeau denounced the protesters Monday for their behavior, which included flying "racist flags" in the Canadian capital, adding that there "is no place in our country for threats, violence or hatred."

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