New Delhi: The Mayor of Canadian capital Ottawa had to resort to imposing a state of emergency in the city after a week-long truckers’ protest against Covid-19 restrictions.
Truckers have been protesting in Ottawa for over a week against the Covid restrictions imposed on them. With around 7,000 protestors on the road over the weekend, much of the core of Canada has been shut down by truckers. The protestors have outnumbered the police force, reports the Daily Mail.
Declaring a state of emergency, the mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, said that the city was “completely out of control”. He added that these protests posed a threat to the safety and security of the residents of Ottawa. The tents and vehicles of the truckers have paralysed the centre of the city, as reported by BBC.
The ‘Freedom Convoy’ movement was initiated against the Canadian government’s rule of imposing a vaccine requirement for cross-border truckers. The truckers are now protesting against public health measures and PM Justin Trudeau’s government.
Mayor Watson spoke to Canadian radio station CFRA and shared that the truckers are behaving “insensitively” and are continuously “blaring horns and sirens, [setting off] fireworks and turning it into a party”. He further added, “Clearly, we are outnumbered and we are losing this battle. This has to be reversed – we have to get our city back,” BBC reported.
The declaration of a state of emergency provides the city with additional powers which include access to the equipment required by emergency services and frontline workers.
Many residents of Ottawa have objected to the protest and a statement issued by the city authorities said that the imposition 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”.
Due to the protests, the police has made several arrests and impounded large number of vehicles, reveals BBC report