Trudeau scolded over swastika-waving anti-vax condemnation
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been accused of provoking the ire of anti-vaxxers after he took aim Freedom Convoy protesters, some of whom had been spotted waving flags associated with the genocidal Nazi regime.
Conservative lawmakers, including the party’s interim leader Candice Bergen, said on Monday night that Trudeau was fueling discontent at a time when many Canadians were hoping for life to return to normal.
“We are at a crisis point, not just outside the doors and across the country, but the country overall,” Bergen said, adding that “so much of it is because of the things he’s said and done.”
The comments came after truckers from the so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ blocked the Ambassador Bridge – the busiest route connecting Canada to the US. The activism originally started as a protest against a vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers, but demonstrators have now vowed not to leave Ottawa until all Covid restrictions are lifted.
Speaking on Tuesday, Trudeau said the dangerous and economically painful activism “had to stop.”
“This is a story of a country that got through this pandemic by being united – and a few people shouting and waving swastikas does not define who Canadians are,” the prime minister told lawmakers during an emergency debate.
“People of Ottawa don’t deserve to be harassed in their own neighborhoods, don’t deserve to be confronted with the inherent violence of a swastika flying on a street corner, or a Confederate flag, or the insults and jeers just because they’re wearing a mask. That’s not who Canadians are,” he argued.
Trudeau added that Covid-19 restrictions were not forever.
High-profile Americans including former President Donald Trump and Tesla founder Elon Musk have both spoken in favor of the trucker protest.