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The latest on protests against COVID-19 measures in Ottawa and beyond

The latest developments on ongoing protests against COVID-19 restrictions and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government, both in Ottawa and various cities across Canada. All times Eastern:

9:15 p.m.

Ottawa police say they seized fuel and vehicles from demonstrators, made seven arrests and issued more than a hundred tickets today.

They took the fuel from a site being used as a base camp of sorts for anti-mandate protesters.

Six of the arrests were for mischief, while one was for driving while prohibited.

Police say there have also been more than 100 Highway Traffic Act and provincial offence notices issued, including for excessive honking, having the wrong class of licence, and having alcohol readily available.


4:30 p.m.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has declared a state of emergency to give the city more flexibility to deal with ongoing protests that have overwhelmed local resources.

The city announced the move in a brief release this afternoon, saying the decision reflects the "serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents" from protesters encamped through much of the downtown core.

The release also says the decision underlines the need for support from upper levels of governments.

Earlier in the day, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the province has backed Ottawa during the nine-day protest that critics have branded an occupation.

The decision gives the city some additional powers around procurement and how it delivers services.

The city's release notes those powers could help purchase equipment required by frontline workers and first responders.


3 p.m.

One of the organizers of a massive protest that clogged the streets of Quebec City on Saturday is encouraging demonstrators to return in two weeks.

Bernard Gauthier made a speech today in which he suggested protesters should head home now but make plans to return to the provincial capital.

He says he recognizes truckers need to work during the week, but hopes to see an even bigger protest unfold two weekends from now.

He says he believes protesters sent a clear message to Premier François Legault about their distaste for public health measures geared towards addressing COVID-19.


2:30 p.m.

A solidarity protest in Sarnia, Ont., has closed a stretch of highway and led to delays at a Canada-U.S. border crossing.

Ontario Provincial Police say all westbound on-ramps to Highway 402 are closed from Modeland Road to the Bluewater Bridge, a highly travelled crossing point between the two countries.

Const. Jamie Bydeley says the closures are in effect for public safety, saying there are currently several pedestrians on the highway at the demonstration site.

The official Twitter account for the Bluewater Bridge says to expect delays when travelling to the United States.


2 p.m.

Protesters have assembled in Halifax today to show support for demonstrators who have been camped out in Ottawa for the past nine days.

Participants in the "freedom convoy" and associated protests taking place across Canada over the weekend are opposed to vaccine mandates and other public health restrictions imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Halifax police Const. John MacLeod says hundreds of vehicles made their way through the downtown core and caused quite a backlog, but officers are working to clear that out.

He says both trucks and cars moved from the south end of the city, through the downtown and towards the Bayer's Lake area.

He says the situation has been peaceful with no incidents to report.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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