"The country is in crisis": NDP calls on Trudeau to put an end to convoy protests

Feb 7 2022, 7:11 pm

As trucker convoys and protests against COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates continue across the country, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take federal leadership.

Singh has asked Trudeau to work on a plan to put an end to the “convoy crisis” that is “terrorizing neighbourhoods across the country.”

A press release from the NDP on Monday morning reads, “The people of Ottawa, especially those living in the downtown core, have been under siege for more than a week now.”

“Local citizens, healthcare workers and front lines workers across the country are being harassed and assaulted in their community,” the release continues. “Yet the prime minister, and the Liberal government, have been missing in action to put an end to this crisis.”

Singh called for an emergency debate on Monday to find solutions, and the NDP has laid out some concrete steps the prime minister can take, including:

  • Meet immediately with municipal leaders impacted by the convoy to discuss a path out of it and proactively offer support: Ottawa, Ontario; Coutts, Alberta; Sarnia, Ontario; and other cities and borders being targeted.
  • Considering the significant amount of funding coming from the US, get in touch with the US administration to shut down the funding coming from the US that is interfering in our democracy.
  • Work with provinces and territories on a clear plan to get to an end of this pandemic, including better access to rapid tests, more work to encourage better uptake for a booster shot for all Canadians, an emergency plan to rescue the healthcare system on the brink of collapsing, and a global vaccination plan to stop new variants from developing.
  • Work with the minority government on the other real issues that Canadians are going through to help them make ends meet as the cost of living continues to skyrocket and find solutions that help all people, not the ultra-rich.

“Since the beginning of the convoy, and despite things only getting worse, the prime minister hasn’t taken any action to help calm the situation or deescalate while families are being terrorized in their communities,” said Singh.

“Healthcare workers and employees of local businesses have also been harassed or assaulted simply for going to work,” he added. “Symbols of hate are being promoted, and memorials have been vandalized.”

From Vancouver and Calgary to Ottawa and Toronto, protesters have been causing disturbances across the country. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency over the weekend following two weeks of “Freedom Convoy” demonstrations, and someone in Toronto was arrested for throwing feces during a protest.

Vancouverites had their mornings disturbed for the second weekend in a row as demonstrators entered the city, loudly honking, and counter-protesters blocked the flow of traffic for close to half an hour, blocking some “Freedom Convoy” supporters from entering the city.

The protests have been denounced by the Canadian Trucking Alliance, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and many other leaders. Meanwhile, Donald Trump and US Senator Ted Cruz have shown support.

“The solutions are not simple, but national leadership is needed,” said Singh.

Elle McLeanElle McLean

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