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4 Feb, 2022 06:02

Canadian govt decides whether to use military to deal with protesters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has dismissed suggestions to use the armed forces to disperse demonstrators
Canadian govt decides whether to use military to deal with protesters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that the government would not yet consider sending in the military to deal with the truckers protesting Covid-19 restrictions in Ottawa.

Trudeau announced that Ottawa had not yet formally requested the deployment of armed forces to disperse thousands of protesters, who have been camped outside parliament since last week.

“One has to be very, very cautious before deploying the military in situations engaging Canadians,” Trudeau said during a press conference. “It is not something that anyone should enter into lightly.”

However, Trudeau did claim that the government would “of course, look at any formal requests [the city of Ottawa] sent us,” including requests for military action against protesters.

“Our preoccupation remains being there for the citizens of Ottawa, the neighborhoods that have been significantly disrupted by these protests,” the prime minister, who has repeatedly condemned the protesters and accused them of being extremists, said.

Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand also said on Thursday there were “no plans for the Canadian Armed Forces to be involved in the current situation in Ottawa in a law enforcement capacity,” pointing out that the military is “not a police force.”

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly claimed on Wednesday that the force was “looking at every single option, including military aid,” to deal with the Freedom Convoy demonstration.

The movement has united truckers opposing a mandate which requires them to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or face quarantine while crossing the border as part of their job. The truckers have warned that they will not cease the protest until all vaccine-related requirements in Canada are lifted.