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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau goes into hiding as farmers join truckers in protest against vaccine mandate

The protests initially began in the Western part of the country after the government directed mandatory 14-day home quarantine for unvaccinated truckers, who have crossed the US-Canada border.

On Saturday (January 29). Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family have moved to a secret ‘undisclosed’ location in Ottawa, citing security concerns, after thousands of truckers carried out protests in the city over vaccine mandates of the Canadian government. The protests by truckers received a boost after farmers also joined them with their tractors, worsening the situation for the PM.

As per reports, Trudeau and his family had to vacate the Rideau Cottage in the New Edinburgh neighbourhood of Ottawa due to its close proximity to the protest site. The Office of the Prime Minister refused to comment on the development, highlighting security reasons. Accordingly, the Canadian Prime Minister’s travel itinerary has been tweaked to replace the ‘city name’ with ‘national capital region.’ It must be mentioned that Trudeau has been in isolation for being in contact with his Coronavirus infected child.

CBS reported that the decision to move the Prime Minister was taken in the backdrop of the Rideau Hall gate crashing attack of 2020 during which a Canadian armed forces member named Corey Hurren (46) crashed his car into the gates of Trudeau’s residence. Fortunately, the Canadian Prime Minister was not home at the time of the incident. Hurren was armed with several weapons including a rifle.

The Trucker Freedom convoy in Ottawa

Reportedly, a convoy of 2700 trucks had entered Ottawa on Saturday to protest against the ‘undemocratic’ Covid-19 policies of Justin Trudeau including mandatory vaccination for truckers entering Canada through the US-Canada border. Dubbed the ‘Freedom convoy’, it has amassed support from all sections of the public including prominent people like Donald Trump Jr, Joe Rohan and comedian Russel Brand.

The truckers entered the Canadian capital city from all sides and blocked a main street near the Canadian Parliament. The protests initially began in the Western part of the country after the government directed mandatory 14-day home quarantine for unvaccinated truckers, who have crossed the US-Canada border. They have received support from conservative groups, opponents of Trudeau and the protests quickly gained momentum in other parts of Canada as well.

As per reports, the truckers have been camping near Parliament Hill and demanding reversal of all vaccine mandates in the country. A truck driver Harold Jonker told BBC, “We want to be free, we want to have our choice again, and we want hope – and the government has taken that away.”

He further added, “The intent is actually to stay until all these mandates are dropped. Some people can stay one day, some people can stay five days but all the truck drivers are used to camping in their trucks all week long. We are staying here until we can go back to work.”

While speaking about the matter, Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly informed, “The demonstrations this weekend will be unique – fluid, risky and significant. They are national in scope, they’re massive in scale.” He had hinted at the possibility of ‘lone wolf attacks’ amidst the protests.

The Canadian government ended the truckers’ exemption to the vaccine mandate, meaning Canadian truck drivers need to be fully vaccinated if they want to avoid a two-week quarantine and pre-arrival molecular test for COVID-19 before crossing into Canada.

Farmers join truckers

In the meanwhile, now farmers in Canada also have joined the truckers in the protest against the mandate. Videos shared on social media show farmers in their tractors marching onwards Ottawa to join the blockades and protests.

According to updates by Twitter users, hundreds of farmers have already arrived in Ottawa in their tractors.

Justin Trudeau and impact of vaccine mandates

Earlier on Friday (January 28), Justin Trudeau refused to relent to the demands of ‘fringe groups’ and dismissed the concerns of truckers as ‘unacceptable views.’ He remarked, “What we are hearing from some people associated with this convoy is completely unacceptable. We know the way through this pandemic is to get everyone vaccinated. The overwhelming majority, close to 90 percent of Canadians, have done exactly that.”

His stringent vaccine policy comes at a time when Canada is grappling with rising inflation and supply chain issues, caused due to Coronavirus pandemic, bad weather and labour shortage. It must be mentioned that Canada’s economy is heavily dependent on truckers who transport food and grains from across the border. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the new vaccine mandate can remove about 16000 drivers from the roads.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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