Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hit out at protests by truckers around the country as “unacceptable”.
Speaking to parliament in Ottawa, he defended the Covid restrictions that have prompted truckers to converge on the nation’s capital.
Trudeau said on Wednesday; “Blockages, illegal demonstrations are unacceptable, and are negatively impacting businesses and manufacturers,”
“We must do everything to bring them to an end.”
He said the protesters are “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy and our fellow citizens’ daily lives”.
“It has to stop.”
Ottawa police meanwhile warned protesters could be arrested, and a conviction might cost them their jobs.
Ottawa police warned that “anyone blocking streets or assisting others in the blocking of streets may be committing a criminal offence”.
They added that a criminal conviction could result in seizure of their vehicles, and an inability to enter the US. The police force also hiked penalties for noise, engine idling and other infractions in the city to C$1,000 per offence.
The protests in Ottawa and at two Canada-US border crossings have been going on for two weeks.
The truckers are protesting against a rule requiring truckers entering Canada to be fully immunized against coronavirus. The demonstrators have also voiced opposition to Covid passports and mask mandates.