Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, has officially come out stating that he blames Americans for the past few weeks of protesting and demonstrating which resulted in gridlock at the U.S. Canada border and in Ottawa, the capital city of the country.
In statements issued this past Friday, Trudeau implied that Americans were the ones funding the “Freedom Convoy” protests that have been demonstrating for the past two weeks in opposition of vaccine mandates and the various other heavy-handed COVID-19 restrictions that Trudeau has set in place in Ottawa. Other groups of protesters had taken steps to block various important crossings along the U.S. -Canada border, which included the Ambassador Bridge that connects Detroit to Canada.
“This morning, I had a direct call with President Biden to talk about our shared challenges at the border,” stated the prime minister, as reported by Just The News. “I updated him on the situation, particularly in Windsor.”
“We discussed the American, and indeed global influences on the protest. We talked about the U.S.-based flooding of the 911 phone lines in Ottawa, the presence of U.S. citizens in the blockades, and the impact of foreign money to fund this illegal activity,” continued Trudeau.
“President Biden and I both agreed that for the security of people and the economy, these blockades cannot continue,” he stated. “So make no mistake: the border cannot, and will not stay closed.”
Officials with the Canadian police did manage to take steps to clear the blockages along the Ambassador Bridge on Saturday. However, almost directly after, a larger group showed back up and took their place to continued the lockdown of the bridge. As reported by The Detroit News:
The demonstrators, once vastly outnumbered by the Canadian police on scene, may now have eclipsed them.
At 4 p.m., police began erecting a concrete barrier between the protestors and the foot of the bridge. They also announced for the first time that they would begin towing cars that were parked several blocks away from the span.
But the crowd was undeterred.
Several blocks from the bridge, people milled about a blocked-off street. Despite the freezing temperatures, the atmosphere was festive. They waved signs, chanted “freedom” and a woman sang “O Canada,” the national anthem.
Dozens of police, forming a line, had begun steadily pushing the protesters away from the bridge and onto nearby streets in the morning. They succeeded in clearing several lanes of traffic but the bridge remained closed. Windsor police said they didn’t know when it might reopen.
Trudeau has started to see the consequences of his actions in the past week in the form of extreme political backlash over how he was trying to deal with the protests and COVID-19 in general from groups within his own party. At least two other Liberal Party legislators have been pushing for Trudeau to create some kind of plan with which to lead Canada past these pandemic restrictions.
“I think it’s time to stop dividing Canadians, to stop pitting one part of the population against another. I can’t help but notice with regret that both tone and the policies of my government changed drastically on the eve and during the last election campaign,” stated Liberal MP Joel Lightbound.
“Time to stop with the division and the distractions. It’s time to choose positive, not coercive methods. It’s time to unite. Finally, why am I alone voicing these concerns publicly today? I can tell you that I’m not the only one who feels varying degrees as I do within our ranks,” he finished. “I remain hopeful this call for more humanism, for more reason, for more hope will be heard.”