CANADA: As Canadian police forces continue to cut off protesting truckers’ food and fuel supplies, Ottawa police said they are “having discussions” with the Children’s Aid Society about how to protect an estimated 100 children living in trucks.
Police Tuesday told reporters they are “having discussions with the Children’s Aid Society about what steps to take” to protect children living in what they estimated to be about 100 of the 400 trucks parked in the city.
The Freedom Convoy left Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia, on Jan. 23 and arrived Jan. 29 in Ottawa.
It has inspired protests around the world, including in 27 European countries which are planning their own convoys.
Here’s the latest news on the Freedom Convoy:
- Police said discussions are underway with the Children’s Aid Society for the possible removal of the children from their protesting parents. Ottawa’s Deputy Police Chief Steve Bell cited noise, carbon monoxide fumes, lack of sanitation and noise levels as possible safety hazards. “We’re not at the stage of looking to do any sort of enforcement activity around that,” Bell told CTV News. “We’ll rely on the Children’s Aid Society to give us guidance.”
- In a news release, groups of retired and active-duty police officers from across Canada, along with members of parliament and other advocacy groups, expressed support for the truckers: “The government’s decision to block refueling of the trucks puts fellow Canadians and their families including their young children in danger due to the extreme cold temperatures currently occurring in Ottawa. Regardless of where one stands on this topic, these actions are inhumane and do not align with Canadian principles,” the release stated.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bodyguard resigned stating that he could not abide by the government’s dictates which he felt contravened the human rights enshrined in the Canadian Constitution.
- Nick Motichka, a 10-year veteran of the Calgary Police Service, delivered a strong message on Facebook to his fellow regulation enforcement officers: “Police are here to help and protect people” not “to do the politicians’ dirty work… What is happening in Ottawa, with the clear political influence on the police, to physically exert political will on peaceful protesters for nothing more than possible political gain is so very wrong, on so many levels.”
- Alberta Premier Jason Kenny dropped his province’s vaccine passport program at midnight, promising to lift other public health restrictions by March 1, depending on the number of hospital admissions.
- Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced Tuesday he will end his province’s vaccine passport policy by Monday, Feb. 14. Other public health policies, such as masking, will remain in effect until the end of the month.
- Provincial Parliament Member Randy Hillier is organizing another “Blue-collar Convoy” of tractors to join the truckers in Ottawa this weekend, as he did last week. The proposed routes are listed on the Facebook page.
- Freedom Convoy truckers and Canadian doctors sent a message that vaccine mandates must be removed and they pleaded for a meeting with Trudeau.
Beyond Canada’s borders:
- The current blockade by truckers of the bridge from Windsor, Ontario to Detroit is preventing much of the daily “$300 million in car and truck parts, agricultural products, steel and other raw materials” to reach its destinations, according to the Financial Post. “Almost 20% of all Canada-U.S. trade moves across the Ambassador Bridge, and 30% of cross-border freight moved by truck uses that route.”
- According to Politico, convoys are now being organized across the U.S. and “regional protests have been planned in states from Alabama to Wyoming, based on Politico’s review of social media activity.”
- “Anti-mandate protesters in France, inspired by the ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada, plan to make their way to Paris, then Brussels, to demand an end to vaccine passports,” according to the Financial Post. “Around 200 protesters gathered in a parking lot in Nice today, waving Canadian flags in solidarity with protesters in Canada. Their convoy is made up of motorcycles and cars, but no trucks.”
Similar protests erupted in the last few days in Australia and New Zealand, the Washington Post reported. The “Convoy to Canberra” involves only a couple of 18-wheelers as few Australian truckers own their own vehicles. Protestors brought camping gear — setting up an occupation which has been compared to “Occupation Wall Street.” According to CNN, a convoy of trucks and camper vans has blocked the streets near New Zealand’s Parliament in Wellington.
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