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Tipsheet

Ottawa Mayor, Former Ambassador Call on U.S. to Stop Trying to Help Canadian Truckers

Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

As another sign of how strongly Canadian authorities have reacted to the Canadian trucker's "Freedom Convoy," Ron Gillies reported for the Associated Press that "Ottawa declares state of emergency over COVID-19 protests." 

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When it comes to the state of emergency, Gillies reported that "Mayor Jim Watson said the declaration highlights the need for support from other jurisdictions and levels of government. It gives the city some additional powers around procurement and how it delivers services, which could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders."

While the article is about Ottawa's Mayor Jim Watson declaring a state of emergency, as the headline suggests, that's not all. There are more freakouts from elitist Canadians to report on, in the form of tweets mentioned in Gillies' piece.

There's Gerald Butts, a former senior adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who tweeted a response to Ken Paxton, among a whole host of other things. 

Bruce Heyman, a former U.S. ambassador under President Barack Obama, also felt very strongly about weighing in, enough so to pin one of his many tweets.

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Former President Donald Trump had issued a statement on Friday that began by warning "Facebook and Big Tech are seeking to destroy the Freedom Convoy of Truckers." It also had notably strong words about Trudeau. "The Freedom Convoy is peacefully protesting the harsh policies of far left lunatic Justin Trudeau who has destroyed Canada with insane Covid mandates."

When it comes to Trudeau, Gillies' reporting mentions that Trudeau's government "is responsible for few of the measures, most of which were put in place by provincial governments." Gillies, however, does not mention that Trudeau has denigrated the truckers by accusing them of furthering "hate, abuse, and racism," and has claimed they were "a small fringe minority," who hold unacceptable values" and "does not represent the views of Canadians following the science and stepping up to protect each other."

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms on Sunday challenged the state of emergency, with a press release noting that "Mayor Watson has not divulged publicly what facts he might rely on to justify his assessment of truckers as posing 'a danger of major proportions,' in light of their law-abiding behaviour since arriving in Ottawa more than one week ago." 

"This is a truly disturbing overreach and misuse of emergency powers," stated lawyer Nicholas Wansbutter. 

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The press release also included statements from local residents who shared that they witnessed the truckers to be peaceful and not an impediment to their daily activities:

One of the witnesses in the court action has stated under oath that truckers and their supporters "are feeding the homeless on Wellington Street and filling their backpacks with food. Truckers have taken a whole trailer full of food to the homeless shelter. Truckers are maintaining the cleanliness of city streets, including picking up discarded masks on the ground, centralized garbage collection, shoveling snow at the War Memorial and the Terry Fox statue, and decorating and providing security for the War Memorial and Terry Fox statue."
 
Another witness, an Ottawa resident, swears that "the truckers I have interacted with have, at all times, been friendly, courteous, humble, considerate and peaceful.  I have not observed any aggressive or inappropriate behaviours." He says the truckers are diverse, including Sikhs, Blacks, Aboriginals and others. He has "observed truckers decorating the tomb of the unknown soldier with flowers and guarding it" and has "not seen any violent or threatening behaviour." He notes that "the truckers do not honk their horns at night. My everyday life has not been disrupted by any noise related to the Freedom Convoy during the day." He asserts: "My ability to park and to travel in downtown Ottawa, or to and from Parliament Hill has not been impeded by the presence of the truckers."
 
Another Ottawa resident, who works for Statistics Canada, describes reality on the ground as follows: "The protesters were peaceful and respectful, I saw no violence or harassment. I was not impeded in any way, and could walk about freely and safely. I did not see any hateful symbols, in fact, I saw an abundance of Canada flags and Quebec flags as well as countless signs calling for freedom and the end of Covid related mandates. I did see some anti-Trudeau flags using harsh language. However, I would describe the scene as a peaceful, pro-freedom demonstration. My everyday life has not been disrupted by any noise related to the downtown demonstrations."

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Other news from Sunday night looks to be further emboldening those in the United States to offer assistance though, at least when it comes to speaking out against Canadian authorities.

As one can see from tweeted footage, Ottawa police are removing fuel from the Canadian truckers. The truckers and their supporters don't seem to be backing down, though. 

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