As police quash the protest against COVID-19 mandates in Ottawa, thousands held demonstrations in other parts of Canada on Saturday, Feb. 19, to call for an end to the pandemic restrictions.
“Our work here is not done though, and the public can expect a continued police presence in the days and nights ahead.”
In Quebec, thousands of protesters also took to the streets on the same day seeking an end to all COVID-19 public health measures.
It was the second large demonstration against public health measures in the province in two weeks. Many called for an end to the provincially declared health emergency and mandatory masks for school-aged children.
Bernard Gauthier, one of the protest organizers, said that the protest was "peaceful" and that he hoped the provincial government would return the favour without specifying any demands.
Some protesters said they would also like assurance that the vaccine passport system would not return.
On Feb. 19, Quebec City police said they had made three arrests near the provincial legislature.
These protests that took place Saturday across Canada are in solidarity with the massive demonstration in Ottawa, dubbed "Freedom Convoy 2022."
The convoy action initially began as a protest by truck drivers opposed to the federal government’s vaccine mandate requiring truckers crossing back into Canada from the United States to be fully vaccinated if they wish to avoid a 14-day quarantine upon reentry. It soon evolved into a national movement—and then worldwide—as large convoys of trucks converged in Ottawa to stage a protest on Jan. 29, with many supporters from around the world joining in to call for an end to all COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.