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Trudeau condemns truck driver protests as copycat convoys spread

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau protests a truck driver-led protest that closed central Ottawa in anger at Covid-19’s health rules as France and New Zealand moved to stop their fleet of imitators on Thursday. Blame.

Canadian police have threatened to arrest protesters who participated in the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and the city of Detroit in the United States, in solidarity with a two-week truck driver protest in the capital.

Trudeau told Congress that the convoy is threatening the country’s economic recovery.

“The blockade, illegal demonstrations are unacceptable and have a negative impact on businesses and manufacturers,” Trudeau told the House of Commons Wednesday. “We have to do everything to get them done.”

He told protesters, “The blockade can’t end the pandemic … it needs to end with science. It needs to end with public health measures.”

Earlier, White House spokesman Jen Psaki said US officials were “in very close contact” with Canadian border authorities on the blockade of the bridge.

Saki also said the action “has a risk to the supply chain for the automotive industry” and expressed concern about the impact of protests on the US economy.

The suspension bridge is the main trade corridor, used by more than 40,000 commuters and tourists daily, and trucks carry an average of US $ 323 million worth of goods.

Several chambers of commerce and industry groups in Canada and the United States have demanded the removal of the bridge.

“No group can undermine cross-border trade because our economy is born of a pandemic effect,” the group said in a joint statement.

-‘Freedom Convoy’-

A Canadian court ordered truck drivers on Monday to stop the constant horns that upset residents and make sleep difficult.

But the noise is widespread. Similar movements have hatched everywhere from New York to New Zealand.

Dozens of people were arrested in a clash between police and anti-vaccine protesters on the grounds of Wellington Parliament on Thursday.

In France, thousands of protesters inspired by Canadian truck drivers are planning to gather in Paris on Friday night, with some aiming to move to Brussels on Monday.

Police in Paris protested Thursday, saying they would ban the so-called “freedom convoy” by deploying to prevent blockades on major roads and threatening those who do so with heavy fines or imprisonment. It worked like no.

The night before, the atmosphere of downtown Ottawa’s streets was one of rebellion and celebration.

“We’re not going anywhere,” truck driver John Diehlstra smiled from behind the steering wheel of his big rig, who had been demonstrating since day one.

Not too far away, Ontario truck driver Lloyd Brubacher showed the same steel-like determination.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he told AFP, adding that he plans to “fight to the end.”

With barbecues, campfires and music in the background, the Parliament building under Trudeau’s office still has about 400 vehicles camping.

“This is a dramatic situation that affects the well-being of relations between Canada and the United States and has a significant impact on the way companies do business,” Gilles Le Vasseur, a professor at the University of Ottawa, told AFP.

-“Illegal economic blockade”-

The so-called Freedom Convoy started last month in western Canada. It was launched with anger at the requirement for truck drivers to be vaccinated or tested and quarantined when crossing the US-Canada border.

The snowballing protest against the occupation of Canada’s capital has triggered solidarity rallies at home and abroad.

On Wednesday, Ottawa police protesters that if they continue their “illegal” blockages in downtown streets, they may face criminal accusations and their trucks may be confiscated. Warned.

The blockade of the Ambassador Bridge “threats a fragile supply chain that is already under pressure due to pandemic-related shortages and untreated,” said Brian Kingston, chairman of the Canadian Automakers Association.

Several auto assembly plants as Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens expressed concern about the lasting impact on Canadian companies as 5,000 factory workers in Windsor, Ontario returned home early Tuesday for a blockade. Is preparing to close, officials said.

Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader in Detroit, said assembly plants in North America rely on timely parts delivery across bridges.

The automotive sector has been hit hard in the past year, “a key part of the economy and a key part of consumer spending,” she said.

Canada’s Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino warned of “a serious danger to the economy” and called on protesters to “go home.”

“This is an illegal economic blockade against all Canadians,” added Transport Minister Omar Argabra.

This week, several states, including Alberta, Quebec and Saskatchewan, announced that they would gradually lift or relax the Covid-19 restrictions.



http://www.gulf-times.com/story/709586/Trudeau-slams-trucker-protests-as-copycat-convoys- Trudeau condemns truck driver protests as copycat convoys spread

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