NDP calls for emergency debate as Ottawa protest drags into 2nd week

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling for an emergency debate in the House of Commons as the anti-vaccine mandate protest in Ottawa stretches into its second week.

In a letter to Speaker Anthony Rota on Monday, Singh said he would call for a debate on how to handle the occupation in Ottawa and the protests that have erupted across the country in support of ending all vaccination mandates. .

“The situation has come to a head. And in times of crisis, it is important that federal leaders show leadership, call for de-escalation and work together to find solutions,” he wrote.

“For more than a week, the people of Ottawa have been under siege, and a similar protest in Coutts, Alberta blocked the border and prevented important goods from reaching the people who need them…”

The City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency over the weekend. Mayor Jim Watson described the situation in the nation’s capital as “the most serious emergency our city has ever faced.”

This morning, Watson floated the idea that the federal government appoint a “high-level and respected statesman” to mediate between protesters and governments and resolve the standoff.

“There seems to be little movement on either side,” he said. “I’m not going to condone their activities by showing up and chatting with them. I want them gone.”

Singh said the federal government should instead sit down with municipalities to solve the problem.

“The organizers have made it clear that their intention is to overthrow the government,” he said, adding “it is clear that we need federal leadership at this time.”

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was unwilling to negotiate with protesters demanding either an end to all vaccination mandates or a change of government.

“Having a group of people who don’t agree with the outcome of an election, who want to go a different route and set up an alternative government, is a non-starter in an accountable democracy,” he said. he declares.

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