Police give ultimatum to Freedom Convoy truckers — Analysis

Police said that truckers who protest Covid-19 mandates will be detained and trucks taken away under the Emergencies Act.

On Wednesday, police in the Canadian capital Ottawa handed out flyers to the ‘Freedom Convoy’ truckers, ordering everyone to “leave now” or face arrest under PM Justin Trudeau’s emergency declaration. For almost three weeks the truckers and their supporters have protested for the end of Covid-19 mandates.

“You must leave the area now. Anyone blocking streets, or assisting others in the blocking of streets, are committing a criminal offense and you may be arrested,”The announcement was made by Ottawa police shortly before noon Wednesday. The officers distributed the same message and placed them on windshields of cars parked near the Canadian Parliament.

Protesters face arrest, fines, jail, and could have their commercial or even private drivers’ licenses revoked, the police said. 

While the warning is almost the same as the one the city’s police issued last Wednesday, the new announcement includes language specifically referring to travel restrictions in the Federal Emergencies Act. The law was invoked by Trudeau on Monday, for the first time in Canadian history – and the law it replaced had only been used during the two world wars and a 1970 terrorism crisis.

Ottawa Police Chief resigns amid Freedom Convoy pressure – media

Just one day after Peter Sloly, Ottawa Police chief, resigned the crackdown was launched. Police cited the official reason for taking out truckers was that they were involved in criminal acts. “mischief”By denying Ottawa’s people “the lawful use, enjoyment operation of their property” and “causing businesses to close.”

Governments of several Canadian provinces as well as civil rights groups have criticized Trudeau’s emergency declaration as heavy-handed. Protesting truckers had been asking for the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and mandates.

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