Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family were moved to an undisclosed location as thousands of truckers protesting COVID-19 restrictions descended on Ottawa on Saturday.
Trudeau and his family were moved from Rideau Cottage, about 2.5 miles from the epicenter of the unpermitted protest, after multiple convoys of truckers arrived in the Canadian capital, the CBC reported.
The decision to move the prime minister comes after the sergeant-at-arms of the Canadian Parliament warned that protesters might show up at the homes of politicians, the outlet reported.
The prime minister’s office told the Ottawa Citizen in a statement that Trudeau was continuing to “isolate in the National Capital Region and work remotely.”
“We’ve consulted Ottawa Public Health on appropriate protocols. As always, we do not comment on security matters,” the statement reads.
Trudeau has tried to dismiss the protests as “fringe” and that they do not reflect the feeling of average Canadians.
The original “Freedom Convoy” protest started in British Columbia but other convoys were expected to arrive from the east of Ottawa. Police estimate that as many as 10,000 protesters will arrive in the city throughout the day.
The protest comes after Canada in January started requiring that all truck drivers entering Canada from the United States be fully vaccinated or be quarantined for 14 days.
Some truckers are calling for Trudeau to drop all public health measures along with the vaccine mandates.
Police were on high alert for the possibility of violence during the protests and had removed cars that had parked at the city’s National War Memorial, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Lawrence MacAulay, the federal veterans’ affairs minister, said on Twitter that treating the memorial “like a parking lot” was “unacceptable.”
“Everyone has the right to protest, and there’s plenty of space for that in Ottawa,” MacAulay said.
Three of the five bridges into the city were closed as protesters started to flood Parliament Hill and traffic had slowed across the region because of the protest. [UPI]
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