With Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” — a convoy of trucks stretching some 70 kilometers long — due to arrive in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, on Saturday, Jan. 29, Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has gone into isolation after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The convoy is driving across Canada to protest Trudeau’s vaccine mandate on cross-border truckers and, according to reports, will be occupying the city until their demands are either met or Trudeau resigns.
“The prime minister tweeted Thursday that he learned of the exposure Wednesday night. While he said his rapid test result was negative, he is following Ottawa Public Health’s guidelines and staying home,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s state-funded messaging outlet reported.
Ottawa’s public health guidelines state that if an individual is asymptomatic and has tested negative for the virus they do not need to “self-isolate unless you are isolating because of a close contact (such as a symptomatic household member).”
Trudeau’s self-imposed isolation means he will not be present in parliament on Monday when it is scheduled to resume following the holiday break, but also means that he will not be greeting the convoy as it descends on Ottawa on Saturday.
You are now signed up for our newsletter
Check your email to complete sign up
The Prime Minister’s isolation is expected to last five days until Monday, Jan. 31 when the convoy is still expected to occupy the capital.
His isolation follows comments made on Wednesday denouncing the convoy referring to its participants as a “small fringe” group of people with “unacceptable opinions” that do “not represent the views of Canadians.”
Cory Morgan, with the Western Standard, noted on Twitter, “The truckers for freedom convoy has raised $6 million in two weeks from over 77,000 donors. The federal Liberal party raised $3.5 million in the first three months of 2021 from 33,600 people,” adding that, “You can see why the establishment is [explative] bricks in Canada right now.”
A GoFundMe campaign, launched by Tamara Lich and B.J. Dichter, to help convoy participants with fuel, food and lodging costs, has raised its goal a third time and is now aiming to raise $7-million in donations. Currently the campaign has raised in excess of $6.2 million ($4,871,142 USD approx.).
Meanwhile, Canadians across the country are gathering in support of the convoy providing necessities for the drivers and lining highways and overpasses wielding signs and Canadian flags.
Trudeau is being blasted on social media with people speculating that the timing of his isolation is convenient considering the convoy headed to his home city carries with it significant opposition to his policies and leadership.
Conservative journalist, Ezra Levant of Rebel News told his some 296-thousand followers on Twitter, “Trudeau has weaponized police forces against the peaceful trucker convoy. Trudeau himself has made an excuse to hide from the media for five days – he’s triple-vaxxed and had a negative Covid test, but he’s hiding. He’ll let his cops block democracy. That’s how Castro does it.”
Media allegations that extremist groups and individuals are joining the trucker’s convoy have emerged. Pierre Poilievre, the Conservative Party’s finance critic, was asked, “What do you make of the extreme elements trying to latch on to the truck convoy?”
Poilievre responded, “Well, you know what I think is interesting is that, when there is a left wing protest on parliament hill we don’t see the liberal media going through every single name of the people who attends to try and find one person that they can disparage the whole group with.”
The Counter Signal, is reporting that “the same day Trudeau announced he was going into hiding, Ontario police shut down parts of Highway 17 (part of the Trans-Canada Highway) ahead of the trucker convoy making its way to Ottawa.”
The Trans-Canada Highway is a major artery that connects the majority of Canada and the primary route of the convoy.
The convoy is garnering support from across the globe with reports of convoy’s forming as far away as Australia and the convoy has even caught the attention of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. On Jan. 27 Musk tweeted, “Canadian truckers rule.”