Canadian officials have a message for US Republicans hyping anti-vax protests in Ottawa: Butt out

Canadian officials have a message for US Republicans hyping anti-vax protests in Ottawa: Butt out
Sen. Ted Cruz (Screengrab)

In Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, anti-vax truckers have been protesting a Canadian law that went into effect on January 15 and requires truckers entering Canada from the United States to show proof that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19. And far-right Republicans, from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to Sen. Ted Cruz to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, have been pandering to the United States’ anti-vax fringe by praising those truckers in Ottawa.

Some Republicans have been donating to their cause. But Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a message for those Republicans: butt out.

During a debate in the Canadian Parliament, Trudeau explained, “Individuals are trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens’ daily lives. It has to stop.”

Trudeau stressed that the border restrictions will not last forever.

“Canadians trust science,” Trudeau declared. “A few people shouting and waving swastikas does not define who Canadians are.”

Other Canadians who have been critical of the anti-vax protests in Ottawa range from Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

In a letter to Trudeau, Watson complained, “What was initially described as a peaceful protest has now turned into a siege of our downtown area.” And Mendicino, obviously referring to Republicans in the U.S., said, “We need to be vigilant about potential foreign interference.... Whatever statements may have been made by some foreign official are neither here nor there. We’re Canadian. We have our own set of laws. We will follow them.”

Although former President Donald Trump is not an anti-vaxxer — he said he has received a COVID-19 booster shot and has encouraged others to do the same — he took offense at Trudeau’s comments, calling the Canadian prime minister a “far-left lunatic” and saying that he has “destroyed Canada with insane COVID mandates.”

According to the Associated Press, there have been incidents of violence in connection with the raucous Ottawa protests.

AP reporters Rob Gillies and Tracey Lindeman note, “Steve Bell, the city’s deputy police chief, said a person from Ohio was arrested in connection with a threat against Ottawa police headquarters. Meanwhile, Ottawa police were investigating a fire at an apartment building that was apparently set by protesters. Matias Munoz said residents of the building south of Parliament Hill were already at their wits’ end Saturday night as the noise of the protest blared through their homes for the ninth night in a row. When he came downstairs Sunday morning, Munoz said the carpet and floor were charred, and there were blackened fire-starter bricks strewn across the lobby.”


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}