Enhver som har vært involvert i protestene i Ottawa, vil bli rettsforfulgt, sa Ottawas konstituerte politisjef Steve Bell under en pressekonferanse lørdag, etter at politiet hadde foretatt en ny runde med arrestasjoner i den canadiske hovedstaden.
Politiet vil aktivt forsøke å identifisere personene det gjelder og følge opp med finansielle sanksjoner og strafferettslige anklager, sa Bell, og la til at dette kompliserte arbeidet vil fortsette i mange måneder. Vi vil holde folk ansvarlige for å ha tatt over gatene, konkluderte Bell.
Unntakstilstanden i Canada forenkler den oppgaven for politiet. The Globe and Mail skriver:
The invocation of the Emergencies Act gave police sweeping powers to clear the streets. The emergency measures include freezing of protest-related bank accounts, removal of protesters’ vehicle insurance and banning protests near Parliament Hill and border crossings. The measures require tow-truck drivers, who had been afraid of reprisals from protesters, to assist the police.
76 bankkontoer til en samlet verdi av 3,2 millioner dollar er så langt blitt frosset, opplyser Canadas sikkerhetsminister Marco Mendicino.
Mr. Mendicino said the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC), the agency that monitors money laundering, is continuing to track money and accounts that it will ask banks to freeze.
Blant konservative parlamentarikere i Canada er det noen som mener at dette ikke er et liberalt demokrati verdig:
During Saturday’s debate in the Commons, Conservative MP Michael Barrett objected to the freezing of bank accounts, calling the measure a “gross overreach” and an infringement on Canadians’ charter rights.
“We are talking about Canadians having Canadian bank accounts frozen because they have political views that the Justice Minister does not like,” he said. “That is not a liberal democracy. It is, frankly, illiberal.”
Blant truckerne er det enkelte som synes de ikke har så mye å tape lenger:
The main area on Parliament Hill has large trucks parked bumper to bumper, making it difficult for police to clear out demonstrators. Many truckers said they are ready to give up their rigs for what they describe as the fight of their lives, against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“What’s my truck worth if I don’t have life?” said Csaba Vizi from Windsor, Ont.
En annen ber myndighetene å om dra til helvete:
Medicine Hat, Alta., trucker Kevin Eresmen said he is not worried about going to jail or losing his large rig.
“They can go to hell,” said Mike Johnson, who drove his rig to Parliament Hill when the protest began in late January. He said he is strongly opposed to vaccine mandates. “It’s a two-year failed experiment and it never stopped. It should have ended.”
“What do we have left to lose anymore?” added Hank Winkels, a 34-year-old from Norwich, Ont., who arrived in Ottawa Saturday morning.
I mellomtiden fortsetter protestene andre steder:
Meanwhile in Quebec City, thousands of protesters gathered near the National Assembly, where police said three people were arrested.
In British Columbia, border officials warned travellers to avoid the Pacific Highway border crossing in Surrey because of continuing protests.
Canadas statsminister Justin Trudeau driver maktmisbruk, skriver Wall Street Journal på lederplass.