The Canadian freedom convoy protests are ending in Ottawa, as authorities have cleared most protesters, trucks and cars from the streets. Some remaining demonstrators were seen on Saturday night singing and setting off fireworks.
A cleanup is now underway in Ottawa’s CBD after two days of intense standoffs between police and protesters.
The protests have been ongoing for about 23 days.
Despite the quiet streets, Ottawa police remain on high alert. Speaking to CTV News, Canada’s Emergency-Preparedness Minister Bill Blair explained: “It’s still clear that while police have made significant progress, the job is not yet done.”
191 arrests have been made so far in relation to the protests.
The winding down of the protests comes after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked rarely used emergency powers under the Emergencies Act in an attempt to end the freedom convoy protests last week. Under the Emergencies Act, police have been given additional tools “to restore order in places where public assemblies can constitute illegal and dangerous activities such as blockades and occupations”.
The protests in Canada began over pandemic measures that require unvaccinated truck drivers to quarantine for 14 days if they crossed the U.S-Canada border. The protests have since turned into a wider demonstration against the Trudeau Government and COVID-related mandates.