OTTAWA: Truck drivers who have been blockading downtown Ottawa for six days said on Wednesday they had no intention of leaving the Canadian capital until the government scrapped Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
Despite increasing complaints from residents about noise, pollution and aggressive behavior from some truckers, Ottawa police have declined to end the protest, citing the risk of aggravating tensions. The demonstration began as a move to force the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to drop a vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers. It has since turned into a more populist anti-Trudeau movement.
“We understand your frustration … but the responsibility for your inconvenience lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians,” protest leader Chris Barber said in a statement to Ottawa residents. “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 said.