COVID-19 live updates: Ottawa declares state of emergency over trucker-led protests

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Canada’s capital declared a state of emergency on Sunday because of trucker-led protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions.

The move by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson “reflects the serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents posed by the ongoing demonstrations and highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government,” according to a statement from the city.

“It also provides greater flexibility within the municipal administration to enable the City of Ottawa to manage business continuity for essential services for its residents and enables a more flexible procurement process, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders,” the city said. said.

Seven people were arrested in Ottawa on Sunday due to enforcement measures around the demonstration, according to a press release from the Ottawa Police Service.

“There are over 60 criminal investigations so far related to the demonstration,” police said. “They are primarily for mischief, thefts, hate crimes and property damage.”

Sunday marked the 10th straight day of the so-called “freedom convoy” protests, which began with truckers critical of a new rule that they must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to cross the United States-Canada border. The demonstrations have since grown into broader challenges to pandemic-related public health measures and opposition to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Thousands of protesters have occupied the streets of Ottawa and other cities across Canada in support of the movement, paralyzing the capital’s city center with traffic jams, nonstop noise and complaints of harassment. Protesters have said they won’t leave until all COVID-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions are lifted nationwide. They are also calling for the removal of Trudeau’s government, even though most of the public health measures were put in place by provincial governments.

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