Despite police action, truck drivers continue to protest in Canada

Despite police action, truck drivers continue to protest in Canada

Truck driver protests against the government’s coronavirus measures continue in Canada – despite freezing cold and police efforts to break up the situation. But there are protests too.

OTTAWA – Canadian truck drivers continued their protest against the government’s coronavirus measures over the weekend despite a cold winter and several police operations.

Police try to lift a blockade on the important border bridge between the Canadian city of Windsor and Detroit, United States. According to Windsor Police, arrests were made and several vehicles were removed. There is “zero tolerance” for “illegal activities”.

Protests continued elsewhere in Canada, such as at other border crossings or in the capital Ottawa. Police said there have been several arrests in Ottawa as well. Some protesters showed “aggressive behavior” and “overwhelmed” police officers. There were also protests.

Trudeau calls blockades illegal – state of emergency in Ontario

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with his crisis team over the weekend. “We will continue to ensure that the relevant city, provincial and state authorities have what is necessary to eliminate these barriers and protect the safety of the population,” he said. Trudeau had previously not ruled out violent disruption of the blockade, calling the blockade illegal, given the nearly three-week-long protest by truck drivers. Along with Ontario, one of the affected provinces has declared a state of emergency.

Thousands of people have been demonstrating in Canada for weeks against coronavirus measures and vaccination rules. Together with trucks and other vehicles, they block parts of downtown Ottawa, among other things. The protests initially focused on vaccination requirements for truck drivers and then overall government pandemic restrictions. In January, an ordinance came into force requiring truck drivers returning from the United States to provide proof of vaccination.

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disrupted car production

According to Trudeau, the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit—as well as other border crossings—stopped car production by six manufacturers due to missing parts. 25 percent of Canadian-US freight traffic flows over the bridge – this corresponds to a freight value equivalent to 275 million euros per day. The region is economically closely interlinked across the border.

That’s why Trudeau spoke to US President Joe Biden on Friday. Trudeau later said, “President Biden and I both agree that these lockdowns cannot continue for reasons of humanitarian and economic security.” The White House made a similar statement – and also announced that the two countries would continue to work together on the matter. According to Trudeau, the protesters, many of whom are right-wing, are supported by charities, about 50 percent of which come from the United States.

Large sections of the population had supported Trudeau’s sometimes very strict anti-Covid course over the past two years. However, the latest studies indicate a possible trend reversal, even if the picture is not yet clear. Some supporters of the 50-year-old also considered the measures largely due to the Omicron version, such as new travel restrictions and the closure of the interiors of bars and restaurants ordered by local governments, as exaggerated. DPA

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