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Remaining trucker convoy protesters won’t leave until COVID-19 restrictions ease

Click to play video: 'Protesters told to leave Ottawa after 3rd day of disrupting Canadian capital' Protesters told to leave Ottawa after 3rd day of disrupting Canadian capital
WATCH: As truck convoy protesters against Canada's pandemic restrictions continue in Ottawa, the city's mayor, Jim Watson, is demanding demonstrators move on after disrupting the capital, and the lives of its residents for a third consecutive day. – Jan 31, 2022

Crowds have thinned out considerably on Parliament Hill and the surrounding area, where anti-COVID restrictions demonstrators have been protesting for days.

But those that remain say they are staying put until all the restrictions are lifted, with the president of the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association saying some protesters have been extending their stays at hotels, or are asking to rebook for the coming weekend.

Read more: ‘We won’t give in’ Trudeau says as trucker convoy protest continues

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he will not meet with anyone involved, noting reports that some participants have been seen harassing local businesses, waving Nazi flags, defecating on residential lawns, urinating on National War Memorial and stealing food from the homeless.

The Ottawa Paramedic Association reported that paramedics asked for police escorts after rocks were hurled at an ambulance from a truck in the convoy.

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But Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen said Trudeau was “gaslighting” the protesters, who deserve the chance to be heard and be given some respect.

Click to play video: 'Trucker protests: Solution to ending supply chain issue starts with COVID-19 vaccinations, says Trudeau' Trucker protests: Solution to ending supply chain issue starts with COVID-19 vaccinations, says Trudeau
Trucker protests: Solution to ending supply chain issue starts with COVID-19 vaccinations, says Trudeau – Jan 31, 2022

She said the protesters she met with from her home province of Manitoba on Sunday are “good people, patriotic, peace-loving.”

Canada Unity, the group behind the convoy, originated during the 2019 pro-pipeline convoy to Ottawa but morphed into an anti-COVID restrictions protest after the pandemic began.

The vaccine mandate for truckers that took effect on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border earlier this month added more fire to the demands and helped trigger the bigger convoy that descended on Ottawa in the last week.

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