Sat, 02 July 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

Ottawa declares state of emergency over COVID-19 protests

Update : 07 Feb 2022, 10:28

The City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency on Sunday after over a week of trucker convoy demonstrations in the nation’s capital against COVID-19 restrictions.

In a late-afternoon release, the City of Ottawa said Mayor Jim Watson's declaration reflected the “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents” from protesters encamped through much of the downtown core.

The decision gives the city some additional powers around procurement and how it delivers services. The city’s release noted those powers could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders.

The release also says the decision underlines the need for support from upper levels of governments.

Earlier Sunday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the province has backed Ottawa during the nine-day protest that critics have branded an occupation.

“While we cannot direct the police, we have provided the City of Ottawa everything they have asked for and will continue to provide whatever support they request,” Ford said in a tweet.

The convoy first arrived in Ottawa on January 29th and protests have been continuing since. The current wave of protests against COVID-19 measures in Canada started at the end of January, when thousands of truckers and other demonstrators gathered in Ottawa expressing strong opposition to vaccine mandates for truckers crossing the US-Canada border. The so-called "Freedom Convoy" protests have been generally peaceful, but dozens of criminal investigations have been launched into a series of incidents and at least seven people have been arrested in Ottawa.

The “freedom truck convoy” has attracted support from many U.S. Republicans including former President Donald Trump, who called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “far left lunatic” who has “destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates.” 

“Canada US relations used to be mainly about solving technical issues. Today Canada is unfortunately experiencing radical US politicians involving themselves in Canadian domestic issues. Trump and his followers are a threat not just to the US but to all democracies,” Bruce Heyman, a former U.S. ambassador under President Barack Obama, tweeted.

After crowdfunding site GoFundMe said it would refund or redirect to charities the vast majority of the millions raised by demonstrators protesting in the Canadian capital, prominent U.S. Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis complained.

But GoFundMe had already changed its mind and said it would be issuing refunds to all. The site said it cut off funding for the organizers because it had determined the effort violated the site’s terms of service due to unlawful activity.





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