Correction: An earlier version of this story cited October 2021 guidance for Ottawa police. That guidance has since been updated and vaccination is required for all Ottawa police officers. The Post Millennial regrets the error.
The Ottawa Police Department has been cracking down and arresting peaceful protesters partaking in the massive anti-mandate Freedom Convoy outside of Parliament Hill. Officers within the department are only recently subject to vaccine mandates themselves.
According to CTV News, Ottawa police officers were given the option to undergo daily rapid COVID tests if they choose not to get vaccinated. That changed in October, when a vaccine mandate for the officers was announced. The deadline for officers to get vaccinated was January 31. Less than 10 officers were suspended for not getting vaccinated by the deadline.
On Sunday evening, the Ottawa Police Department issued a state of emergency and attempted to dismantle the Freedom Convoy, which began in Ottawa on January 28. Officers seized gas cans, propane tanks, and arrested individuals that were supplying gasoline to truckers. The threats failed to disperse the protesters and they continued to stay outside in the frigid weather.
Despite the threats and arrests from Ottawa PD, the leaders of the truckers; Freedom Convoy announced on Monday evening that they will not be leaving until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comes to the table and an agreement is reached.
"We're here to talk. Let's find a peaceful resolution to this. I want to go home but I'm not going until I am no longer needed here. Based on all the support that we have from the people of Canada; I have an incredible amount of support and a lot of people seem to want me here. I'm not going home until the job is done," an organizer of the Freedom Convoy said Monday night.
"I am not calling for violence. I am not expecting you to get into your vehicle, drive here, and create problems–create crimes. That's not what we're saying. Strength in numbers. We got sent here to send a message. The message isn't getting through, he's not getting it. And I apologize if I'm bashing the guy but honestly, from my assessment, he's got a .22 caliber mind in a .357 world," he continued.
"Let's get at the table for God's sake. Enough hiding! I'm willing to sit at a table with Conservatives and UP and the block as a coalition. I'll sit with the Governor General. You put us at the table with somebody that actually cares about Canada," he explained.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made his first public appearance on Monday since the truckers assembled on Ottawa's streets. During his time in hiding, Trudeau falsely labeled the diverse group of protesters as "racists" and "vandals" after he was "evacuated" to a secret location following a day of protesters singing songs, waving flags, and feeding the hungry.
During Trudeau's time on the floor, the Prime Minister doubled down on division and demanded an end to the trucker's freedom protest. It's unclear if he will take the organizers requests seriously but the organizers said they are hoping for a peaceful agreement.