Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held a meeting with leaders of opposition parties Thursday evening, where he said he briefed them on the latest developments of the trucker convoy protests and blockades.
In a statement on Twitter, Trudeau said he stressed how important it is for every party to “denounce these illegal acts — and to call for an end to these blockades.”
The teleconference meeting occurred between Trudeau, Opposition Leader and interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, sources confirmed to Global News.
Trudeau also said he spoke with the mayor of Windsor, Ont., Drew Dilkens, before the meeting to talk about the trucker blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest border crossing for the U.S. and Canada.
Trudeau said the federal government is “committed” to helping Dilkens and Ontario “get the situation under control,” but did not provide details of how.
U.S. officials on Thursday urged Trudeau and the federal government to use federal powers to end the blockade, while Windsor police said that “additional resources” have been deployed from “outside jurisdictions” to help support a peaceful resolution to the blockade.
Blockades have also been established in Coutts, Alta., and Emerson, Man.
Trudeau said he also convened an Incident Response Group meeting with ministers and officials earlier in the day.
In a statement after the meeting with Trudeau, Singh said that the Prime Minister has “spent more time looking for excuses than providing solutions” to the ongoing protests and occupation in Ottawa that is on its 14th day.
“Canadians have been missing national leadership during this crisis,” Singh said. “They’re tired of jurisdictional excuses, they just want this to stop.”
Singh said he called on Trudeau in the meeting to “act urgently” to end the convoy and to work on a plan to get Canadians out of the COVID-19 pandemic that is nearing two years long.
He also encouraged Trudeau to follow in the footsteps of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who got an injunction Thursday to freeze millions of dollars in funds raised from the convoy’s GiveSendGo fundraiser. Singh wants Trudeau to “follow suit and do the same.”
Bergen thanked Trudeau for holding the meeting in a tweet.
“I continue to call on him to take action to bring this to an end peacefully and quickly,” she said.
Earlier Thursday, she had told the House of Commons that it is now time for protesters to “take down the barriers.”
“To all of you who are taking part in the protests, I believe the time has come to take down the barricades, stop the disruptive action, and come together. The economy you want to see reopened is hurting,” she said.
“I believe this is not what you want to do.”
Opposition leaders had asked Trudeau to convene a meeting earlier on Thursday during question period to discuss the federal response to blockades at key border crossings and to the occupation in Ottawa.
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said Thursday that the more resources law enforcement has from the provincial and federal governments, the quicker the demonstration will come to an end.
“More resources, more reinforcements means more results,” Sloly said.