Update on Protests: Winnipeg, Toronto, Quebec City, and Ottawa

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Protest at Queen's Park - Facebook
Protest at Queen's Park - Facebook

THUNDER BAY – News – Protests in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park are ramping up today. There is also an ongoing protest in Winnipeg at the Legislative building. Protests have spread to Quebec City.

There is an ongoing protest in Alberta at the Coutts border crossing with the United States.

There is a small convoy of vehicles in Thunder Bay this afternoon with their horns honking.

In Ottawa, protestors on horseback are parading with Canadian and Trump 2024 flags.

Listening to the video, the noise of the trucker’s horns is very loud. If there is one thing about the mounted protestors, their horses are well trained.

In Winnipeg, on Friday a protestor was hit by a man in a vehicle who fled the scene.

Winnipeg Police report that on February 4, 2022, at 9:50 pm CST, they were advised of a motor vehicle collision near Broadway and Memorial Boulevard. The initial information was that a westbound Jeep Patriot had driven through a group of protesters that were part of the Freedom Convoy at the Legislative grounds.

The Jeep fled west down Portage Avenue, where numerous witnesses reported it travelling at high speeds and passing through red lights.

With the assistance of the RCMP, WPS officers were able to stop the vehicle in the 4800 block of Portage Ave. at approximately 10:30 pm. The lone male driver was arrested after a brief struggle.

The Jeep struck four adult males. Three sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention. The fourth was treated in hospital and released.

A 42-year-old male from Headingly, Manitoba, faces charges of:

– Assault with Weapon x 4
– Dangerous Operation of a Conveyance Cause Bodily Harm x 2
– Dangerous Operation of a Conveyance
– Fail to Stop After Accident Knowing That Reckless x 2
– Fail to Stop at Scene of Accident x 2

The man was detained in custody.

Attacks on Journalists

The Canadian Association of journalists (CAJ) states that the organization is deeply concerned about the alarming rise in harassment and threats against journalists covering the Ottawa occupation protests and similar demonstrations across the country.

“We welcome thoughtful criticism and discussion of journalists’ work but threatening, harassing, physically intimidating, or throwing objects at journalists reporting on these protests has no place in a free country like Canada and is completely unacceptable,” said CAJ president Brent Jolly.

Earlier this week, the House of Commons adopted a motion, under unanimous consent, put forward by Bloc Québécois MP Martin Champoux that stated:

“That the house reaffirm the primordial and essential role of journalists in a democracy and deplore the attempts to intimidate them in recent days as part of their coverage of the events in Ottawa.”

Despite this symbolic show of support, attacks have escalated, including racist, antisemitic, misogynistic threats and hateful messages. Journalists in the field have frequently been unable to record an interview or news item without being interrupted, threatened, or assaulted.

The job of journalists is to responsibly tell stories and cover issues that matter to the public and hold officials and those in power accountable.

“Journalists are not stenographers of those in power or those holding protest signs,” Jolly said. “To think otherwise is a fundamental misinterpretation of the role of journalism in a democratic society.”

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has sent its Québec-based lawyer, Samuel Bachand, to Québec City this morning to offer free legal information and advice to members of the truckers’ Freedom Convoy.

At 10:30 a.m., in -15oC weather, about a thousand demonstrators were marching around the parliament buildings in a carnival-like atmosphere. Dozens of trucks were parked along a 700-metre stretch of René-Lévesque Boulevard, their horns blaring as passersby cheered.

A Freedom Convoy 2022 volunteer lamented the refusal of the Quebec City Police Department (SPVQ) to allow portable toilets near the Tourny Fountain and canteens to be installed in a private parking lot offered to truckers by the owner.

“The Justice Centre was able to discuss this situation with officers stationed at the site and inquire about the reasons for their refusal,” reports Mr. Bachand. “We took note of the municipal by-law and invited the SPVQ to show restraint before intervening physically. We hope that the SPVQ will exercise its discretion in a benevolent manner. We are confident that the demonstrators, for their part, will succeed in maintaining the peaceful and festive nature of the convoy.”

Many young families joined the march, with their children in strollers or sleds, in many cases holding up homemade signs. Wishes of freedom abounded: “I want to breathe”, “Freedom is my right”, “Enough”.

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