Source: Rebecca Terrell
For the next few days, truckers in Canada’s national capital could be arrested or fined for sounding resistance to their government’s COVID tyranny. Ontario Superior Court Justice Hugh McLean issued a 10-day injunction on Monday preventing Freedom Convoy 2022 truckers from honking their horns, according to The Counter Signal.
Tens of thousands of truckers have been blaring their semi’s air horns on the streets of Ottawa since January 29, following a week-long trek from British Columbia’s Pacific coast, to demand medical freedom and an end to COVID restrictions and mandates. Lawyers representing a class-action lawsuit of Ottawa residents say the noise is severe and disruptive. The judge temporarily ruled in their favor to allow time for more opinions to be heard in the case.
The city council is also proposing to raise fines up to $1,000 for otherwise minor infractions such as “honking horns, idling vehicles and blocking roads,” according to Rebel News. They intend to repeal a rule allowing vehicles to idle when temperatures drop.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Parliament held emergency debate on Monday, marking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first appearance since the convoy arrived in the capital. He had tested positive for COVID mere hours beforehand and then remained in an undisclosed location for security reasons, according to media reports. In a burst of characteristic coarseness, Trudeau told the House of Commons, “This pandemic has sucked for all Canadians.” But, he claimed, the truckers have been disruptive in trying to blockade Canada’s economy, democracy and their fellow citizens daily lives. “It has to stop,” he droned, apparently oblivious to the irony and hypocrisy of criticizing protesters for what his own COVID tyranny has wrought in Canada for the past two years.
Nevertheless, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is asking Trudeau for reinforcements to “quell the insurrection.” In a letter to the prime minister and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, he asked for 1,800 additional police officers to add to the 2,100-strong Ottawa force, according to Global News. Watson declared a State of Emergency on Sunday, accusing the convoy of illegally occupying the city, defacing monuments, and disrupting peace and safety, saying current police forces are not enough to “restore public order.” Chief of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) Peter Sloly has characterized the protest as a violent and criminal siege, describing to CTV News how his force is impounding trucks and arresting Canadians who are supplying the truckers with fuel.
Tom Marazzo, police liaison for the Freedom Convoy 2022, defended the truckers during a press conference in Ottawa on Sunday. He said the city government has “deliberately set the conditions for potential violence against the peaceful protesters of the Freedom 2022 convoy,” and accused major media of intentionally misleading the public into believing the protestors are criminals. He pointed out that police are aware that crimes committed during the protest have been reported by the truckers themselves, not committed by them. “The protest has been peaceful,” he noted. “Groups inciting violence are not affiliated with us in any way.”
But he strongly criticized OPS leaders. “In my negotiations with them, they have chosen to take the posture of a hostage negotiation, rather than working to a safe, peaceful and responsible relationship that may exist for months to come.” Despite pushback, he reported that the truckers “have worked tirelessly to maintain safe corridors for all forms of emergency vehicles in order to ensure” no interruption in service. “In return, we have received nothing but inflammatory accusations and misinformation perpetrated by the Ottawa police leadership.” He praised the citizens of Ottawa for their overwhelming support of the movement, while accusing Sloly of attempting “to rebrand an entire worldwide movement as a criminal organization.”