Canadian police launched a major operation on Friday to block the streets of central Ottawa, which has been paralyzed for nearly three weeks by the anti-sanitary movement, forcing the Canadian Parliament to remain exceptionally closed.
AFP journalists noted that the police, who were deployed in large numbers on the streets of the federal capital, began Friday after 8:00 am (1:00 pm GMT) to make arrests.
In a tweet, the police again advised “the protesters to leave immediately” and asked them to remain “peaceful”.
She further explained that the police “would like to tell you that under provincial and federal law, you face serious penalties if you do not stop your illegal activities and do not immediately remove your vehicles and property from all illegal demonstration sites.”
The day before, for the first time, the police deployed in large numbers in the city center and set up a security perimeter there and put up a hundred roadblocks to control entry into the area.
This evening, it arrested two of the movement’s leaders, who will appear in court on Friday.
Tamara Leech, who is behind the so-called “Freedom Caravan”, is accused of inciting to “commit a crime”. As for Christopher Barber, he is accused of the same facts, as well as of abetting the disobedience of a court order and obstruction of police work.
The Canadian protest movement that began at the end of January, initially curtailed by the authorities, began with truck drivers protesting the vaccination duty to cross the Canada-US border.
But the demands extended to the rejection of all health measures, and many protesters rejected the government of Justin Trudeau. The latter said Thursday that this challenge is no longer “peaceful.”
For the first time since the start of this row under the windows of the Federal Parliament, the latter remained closed on Friday. Anthony Rutte, Speaker of the House of Commons, announced early on that “today’s session has been cancelled” for security reasons.
Anthony Rutte said: “If you are not (already) in the House of Commons, stay away from the city center until further notice. If you are already inside the buildings, please stay inside and await instructions.” . The lawmakers are scheduled to debate the adoption of the emergency measures law from 07:00 (12:00 GMT) until midnight.
The Chamber has been studying since Thursday the implementation of the Emergency Measures Act that Justin Trudeau implemented on Monday to put an end to the “illegal” obstacles underway in the country.
This is only the second time this provision has been used in peacetime, and the last time dates back to the 1970 crisis when Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the father of the current prime minister, was in power. It was vigorously contested by the conservative opposition.
Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino described the situation as “perilous” and said on Thursday that the “illegal border blockade” had cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars.
The closure of border hubs with the United States by protesters for several days was significantly heavier and prompted Washington to intervene with the government of Justin Trudeau.
The city of Ottawa, the province of Ontario and Canada as a whole has been placed in a state of emergency due to this unprecedented protest movement.
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