Freedom convoy: Canada has a very serious problem with trucks ‘impossible’ to move

Thursday - 10/02/2022 13:51
Canada has a very serious problem on its hands, with the capital under “siege” by hundreds of truck that simply can’t be moved.

Canada is facing the realisation that the mass of trucks parked in its capital are “impossible” to move without the consent of drivers.

Hundreds of trucks are laying siege to Ottawa and have paralysed the city for days.

It’s threatening to snowball into a full-blown political crisis for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Heavy-duty towing experts say it will be difficult or impossible to remove the hundreds of heavy trucks. Police said there are at least 500 heavy trucks in the city’s “red-zone”.

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Truckers line-up their trucks on Metcalfe Street in Ottawa, Canada. Picture: AFP
Truckers line-up their trucks on Metcalfe Street in Ottawa, Canada. Picture: AFP
 

Chief of the Ottawa Police Service Peter Sloly blasted the protests as a nationwide insurrection. “This is madness,” he said.

Freedom Convoy 2022 is an ongoing protest in Canada against the requirement that truckers produce digital proof of vaccination before re-entering the country. It’s thought at least 85 per cent of Canada’s 120,000 are vaccinated. The mandate impacts at least 26,000 drivers.

The protest has since morphed into broader protests against Covid-19 health restrictions and Trudeau’s government and has reportedly been hijacked by people with no connection the trucking industry. 
 

Supporters arrive at Parliament Hill for the Freedom Truck Convoy to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions in Ottawa. Picture: AFP
Supporters arrive at Parliament Hill for the Freedom Truck Convoy to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions in Ottawa. Picture: AFP
 

The protest in Canada’s capital has dragged on for 10 days, infuriating local residents with incessant honking and diesel fumes.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson declared a state of emergency on Sunday, stating the protests “out of control.”

Diane Deans, of Ottawa City Council, did not hold back with her words.

“This group is emboldened by the lack of enforcement by every level of government,” she said, at one point referring to them as “terrorists.”

“They are terrorising our residents, torturing them with incessant honking, threatening them and preventing them from leading their lives. People cannot go to work or open their businesses. They cannot sleep, walk, shop, go to medical appointments or enjoy their neighbourhood.”
 

A protester holds up a flag showing his displeasure with the mandates imposed by the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. Picture: AFP
A protester holds up a flag showing his displeasure with the mandates imposed by the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau. Picture: AFP
 

But there’s no easy solution to the crisis to move the trucks.

Trucker Lloyd Crowe has been parked there for days and told CBC he was not concerned about being towed.

“If you know anything about truck air brakes, once you pull that button, all 18 wheels are locked,” Crowe said.

“Nothing can move it, except maybe a big wrecker. And no wrecker worth his salt is going to come anywhere near this, because they’re on our side.” 
 

An elderly woman tries to navigate a downtown street as hundreds of truck drivers block the streets. Picture: AFP
An elderly woman tries to navigate a downtown street as hundreds of truck drivers block the streets. Picture: AFP


It’s understood companies contracted by the City of Ottawa are refusing to tow trucks involved with the demonstration.

Protest organiser Tamara Lich said on Monday that activists were willing to engage with the government to find a way out of the crisis, but insisted that pandemic restrictions be eased.

“What we’re trying to do right now is reaching out to all of the federal parties so that we can arrange a sit down,” Ms Lich said during a meeting streamed on YouTube.

“So that we can start these talks and see how we can move forward, have their mandates and the restrictions lifted, restore Canadians rights and freedoms and go home.”

Facing criticism for allowing the centre of the capital to be blocked and many businesses to have to close, Ottawa police Sunday announced new measures to tame the protests by banning people from bringing fuel and other supplies to the rallies.

“Anyone attempting to bring material supports (gas, etc) to the demonstrators could be subject to arrest,” the police said on Twitter.

Officers have since arrested several people, seized multiple vehicles and issued hundreds of traffic tickets.

On Thursday Mr Trudeau ruled out the possibility of deploying the army to disperse the protesters “for now,” saying that one must be “very, very cautious before deploying the military in situations against Canadians.”

- with AFP

Author: Editors Desk

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 Keywords: Canada

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