Trucker convoy: Prime Minister does not intend to meet protesters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says calling on the military to end Ottawa’s truck congestion is “not on the cards right now”, nor does he have any plans to join some. The remaining hundred protesters camped on the city streets.

“A few years ago there were questions surrounding the military when it came to other protests that were blocking critical infrastructure. My answer then matches my answer now, that one has to be very, very cautious before deploying troops in situations involving Canadians,” Trudeau told reporters on Thursday.

“It’s not something anyone should take lightly, but as of right now, there’s been no request at all and that’s not on the cards right now.”

With protesters now parked on Wellington Street for nearly a week, calls for the federal government to intervene in recent days have increased.

From suggestions that the RCMP should play a more prominent role, to whether specific federal financial assistance could be provided to businesses that have had to close due to risks related to the protests. , city officials pressured Trudeau to do more .

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said on Wednesday that all options “to address this protest” are on the table, from taking it to court to potentially calling on the Canadian Armed Forces, an the move has rarely been made in the history of civil protests in this country.

In response to the request, a spokesperson for the Secretary of Defense said in a statement that “The Canadian Armed Forces were not involved in this situation and there are no plans for such involvement by the CAF. “

Trudeau said on Thursday that the government would respond to any official request from the city or province, but at this point the government’s focus is on supporting the people of Ottawa, who have been through a crisis. their lives because of incessant whistles and instances of harassment.

New interim Conservative Party leader Candice Bergen has also led calls from official opposition benches for Trudeau to listen to protesters’ broad list of grievances to make them “feel heard”. “.

Many participants in the ongoing protest have expressed a clear hatred of the prime minister and a desire to see him removed, both for what they have said during the protests and through placards. fence in front of Parliament Hill.

On Thursday, Trudeau did not show his views had changed when he met or negotiated with any of the convoy participants for them to leave.

He said Canadians heard their voices on the vaccine mandate in the last federal election, and his government now has no intention of reversing course.

“There is a group of people who disagree with the outcome of an election, who want to take a different path and put in an alternative government who are not starting out in a responsible democracy,” he said. duty.

More coming soon…

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