Thousands of protesters are on Parliament Hill today. More involved in the Freedom Convoy are still on highways on the way to Ottawa.
So far, the protest has been loud but peaceful. Organizers of the Freedom Convoy, a large group of truckers who are opposed to the vaccine mandate for cross-border big riggers as well as other health restrictions, have asked people joining their rally to remain peaceful.
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly says his concern is lone wolf protesters who are not directly involved with the convoy. He is also worried about what he called social media actors who may or may not come to the city but are inciting hate and violence online.
Police say they have removed some vehicles parked in emergency lanes in downtown Ottawa and the city’s mayor says police have removed cars parked on the grounds of the national Cenotaph. In a tweet, he said, “Parking on this sacred ground that includes the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a sign of complete disrespect.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been moved from his Rideau Cottage home to an undisclosed location because of security concerns.
Earlier this week, Trudeau said he had been exposed to COVID-19 after one of his children had tested positive for the virus and he would be self-isolating for five days. His schedule provided to media Saturday says he is in private meetings speaking to representatives of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec on the fifth anniversary of the fatal shooting.
Liberal and NDP politicians have distance themselves from the protests but several Conservative MPs have expressed support for the protest with leader Erin O’Toole saying he was meeting with truckers on Friday afternoon.