Pierre Poilievre says he supports ‘all Canadians peacefully defending their rights’ amid reports a second protest is planned in Ottawa.
In a statement on Tuesday, Poilievre denied claims that the presumptive front-runner for the Conservative leadership would welcome the possible Canada Day protest planned in Ottawa.
But he called the vaccination mandates “unfair and unscientific bullying” and said he encouraged “everyone to keep protesting the government’s attacks on our freedoms.”
“I stand with all Canadians who are peacefully standing up for their rights by protesting the Liberal government’s vaccine vendetta,” Poilievre said in a statement to PKBNEWS.
Convoy protests paralyzed downtown Ottawa for weeks in February, leading to what police called an “occupation” of the federal capital. Parallel protests erupted at border crossings in Windsor, Ontario, and Coutts, Alta, among other places along the Canada-US border.
Most truckers vaccinated, says Trudeau, as ‘freedom convoy’ heads to Ottawa
The protests prompted the Liberal government to take the unprecedented step of invoking the Emergencies Law and giving the police extraordinary powers to suppress the protests. The Liberal government is currently under scrutiny over this decision, including Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino’s suggestion that the decision to invoke the emergency powers was made on the advice of the police.
Several of the organizers of the initial protests are now facing charges for their role in supporting what was deemed an illegal protest.
On the surface, protesters claimed to oppose vaccination mandates imposed on truckers transporting goods between Canada and the United States.
In fact, the trucking associations said that most of their drivers were vaccinated and those that were not were reassigned to routes in Canada.
The protests turned into opposition to a variety of grievances, with the most extreme demanding that the Liberal government drop all terms and resign.
Jean Charest, Poilievre’s rival for the leadership, suggested that Carleton MPs’ support for the protests should disqualify someone who wants to lead Canada. But during the leadership debates, Poilievre sparred with MP Leslyn Lewis over which candidate supported the convoy the most, suggesting that support is an advantage rather than a disadvantage in the race.
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