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Sat Jan 29, 2022, 10:56 AM

A mini Jan. 6 on wheels across the northern border

(CBC News) With a convoy of protesters gathering in the nation's capital, Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole addressed reporters Thursday evening and called on everyone protesters and others to "take the temperature down."

That's not a bad notion. A calm discussion about the vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers its purpose, its consequences and the merits of the alternatives might be useful right now, especially after a long and painful two pandemic years.

But it doesn't necessarily follow that compromise or unanimity is possible here. And if the temperature needs lowering, it's all the more unfortunate that the words and actions of some Conservative MPs have contributed to raising it.

Pierre Poilievre, an increasingly prominent voice in the party, has referred to the mandate as a "vaccine vendetta." His phrasing implies that the Liberals were somehow driven by personal animus toward truckers when they decided that they must be vaccinated to cross back into Canada without quarantining. (It also ignores the fact that the U.S. has adopted the very same policy for truckers who want to drive into the United States.)

Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis said federal mandates which also cover public servants, air and train travellers are "unscientific, vindictive, mean-spirited and promote segregation." Former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer tweeted this week that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is "the biggest threat to freedom in Canada." ............(more)



Ottawa ready to deal with violence, extremists as protest convoy arrives, says public safety minister

Canada's public safety minister says multiple levels of police and national security forces are preparing to deal with any threats that could erupt from extremists who have latched on to a massive truck convoy that began descending on the nation's capital Friday.

As hundreds of trucks and other protesters make their way to Ottawa to demonstrate against vaccine mandates and other public health measures imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19, Marco Mendicino said there must be lines drawn between free speech and risks to public safety.

"We have to put our trust in the trained professionals that work within law enforcement, that work within the intelligence community, to draw those boundaries," he said in an interview with CBC News Network's Power & Politics. ...........(more)


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