Emergency In Ottawa As Truckers’ Protests Over Covid Restrictions Enter Second Week
A state of emergency has been declared in Canada’s capital Ottawa as truckers’ protests against Covid-19 restrictions entered second week blocking traffic and demonstrations spread to more parts of the country.
The unrest began on January 29 when a group of truckers drove into the heart of Ottawa, calling it “Freedom Convoy”, protesting a new rule that all truck drivers must be vaccinated to cross the US-Canada border.
The protests spread to other cities across the nation, including Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Quebec City, over the weekend.
Many of them turned violent, while road blockade affected normal life and businesses.
Far-right and extremist elements exploited the fluid situation with their demonstrations reportedly turning racist sometimes.
Canada’s largest city of Toronto witnessed a massive rally at the weekend while several trucks blocked a major intersection.
The Ottawa Police Service said more than 60 criminal investigations have been launched so far related to the demonstration, primarily for mischief, thefts, hate crimes and property damage.
Most of businesses in downtown Ottawa have been closed for more than a week.
“Declaring a 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,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said in a statement.
In other major Covid-related news in other parts of the world, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Monday that the country’s borders will be opened to fully vaccinated international travelers later this month.
Indonesia has banned foreign visitors through Jakarta airport in the wake of recent surge in Covid cases.
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