Yesterday, a Canadian judge issued a temporary injunction against the protesting truckers’ Freedom Convoy, prohibiting further honking of Freedom Convoy trucks for ten days. The honking has allegedly occurred non-stop for over 12 hours per day, in the downtown section of Canada’s capital, Ottawa. Elected officials have decried the peaceful protest as an insurrection, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is demanding that the truckers terminate their protest and go home.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Hugh McLean indicated his injunction is temporary because he needs to hear more evidence on how the convoy is allegedly paralyzing neighborhoods around Parliament Hill in Canada’s capital city. In the meantime, his order bans the honking for ten days. A class-action lawsuit has been filed against organizers of the protest by a resident who claims her quality of life has diminished due to the continual honking and alleged misbehavior of many of the truckers. The judge heard from the attorney for the class-action plaintiffs, as well as the attorney representing three of the trucking organizers. He said he wishes to give an opportunity to be heard to “a myriad of people” who are potentially affected by a ruling.
Ottawa’s Mayor, Jim Watson sent a letter to the Prime Minister and to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, requesting 1,800 more police. 2,100 police and government employees are already present to “quell the insurrection” that the local cops allegedly cannot contain.
Ottawa officials claim the Freedom Convoy demonstrations are costing the city more than $1.8 million each day in police costs. They also claim to be receiving threats, according to Global News:
Steve Bell, the city’s deputy police chief, said a person from Ohio was arrested in connection with a threat against Ottawa police headquarters in downtown Ottawa. He said threats are coming in from across North America, and they are very taxing on already stretched resources.
Watson said the loud honking that has reverberated through downtown Ottawa for the last nine days is “tantamount to psychological warfare.”
In his letter for more police resources, Watson wrote: “We need your help to end this siege in the heart of our nation’s capital and in our residential neighbourhoods, and to regain control of our city.”
Ottawa’s city council voted to formally petition the federal government to assume responsibility for public safety in the parliamentary precinct to free up Ottawa officers to return to protect residential neighbourhoods.
Council also voted to ask the provincial and federal governments to provide support for businesses and employees who have lost income during the demonstration, and social support services that have helped Ottawa’s most vulnerable through the disruptions.
Ford said Sunday the province has given Ottawa everything the municipality has requested, and will continue to do so.
Canada’s transport minister said provincial officials can use their regulatory authority to go after the companies that are permitting their trucks to be used in the protests. He said highway safety laws can be used to suspend the commercial licenses of truck drivers for “blockading the streets, days on end, in a city or on a highway.” He advocated that police in Ottawa emulate cops in Quebec City. On February 6, cops there handed out 170 tickets for alleged noise, parking and highway safety violations.