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Ottawa mayor declares state of emergency over truckers clogging Canada’s capital

Ottawa mayor declares state of emergency over truckers clogging Canada’s capital

A state of emergency (SoE) was declared in Ottawa due to the truckers’ street protests, according to the mayor’s press office. Truckers have been camped out in capital for 10 days after travelling to the capital in a convoy from Vancouver.

On Sunday, mayor Jim Watson has realized that the mass protests initiated by truckers need more attention than he suggested. Over one week, truckers are clogging the Canadian capital’s downtown to protest COVID-19 rules.

Mayor Watson said the declaration would get supplies and equipment to Ottawa Police faster.

“We’re in the midst of a serious emergency, the most serious emergency our city has ever faced, and we need to cut the red tape to get these supplies available to our police officers and to our public works staff,” said mayor, while the officials plan to ramp up enforcement in the coming days.

As CBC says, persons who provide “material aid” to protesters, such as fuel, could be arrested.

Canadian truckers clogged Ottawa

The protest movement started when the truckers stepped against a rule requiring Canadian truckers to be fully immunized for COVID-19 if they want to avoid a 14-day quarantine when they cross the border from the United States. In fact, the demonstrations expanded into a general fight against pandemic requirements.

Commenting on the forced move, mayor said that state of emergency does not give Ottawa police more powers but should make the city more nimble in its response.

“Declaring a state of emergency 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,”  Watson said.

In addition, the SoE provides greater flexibility within the municipal authorities to enable Ottawa manage business continuity for essential services for its residents. In general, it could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders.