Trudeau accused of fueling anger after claiming anti-vax protesters are ‘waving swastikas’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been accused of stoking division over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic — as he branded the Freedom Convoy protesters swastika wavers.

Trudeau took aim at the thousands of anti-vaccine mandate protesters who have staged demonstrations in Ottawa for the last two weeks, declaring on Monday night: “It has to stop.”

“This is a story of a country that got through this pandemic by being united — and a few people shouting and waving swastikas does not define who Canadians are,” Trudeau told lawmakers during an emergency debate.

Trudeau’s remarks appeared to dismiss concerns from conservative lawmakers who have warned that the hundreds of trucks that have been blocking major thoroughfares in Ottawa shed light on how divided the country has become.

Trudeau added that the protesters were “trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens’ daily lives.”

The conservative lawmakers have accused Trudeau of fueling discontent amid the pandemic — and failing to give Canadians a timeline for when life may return to normal.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks about the trucker protest during an emergency debate at the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 7, 2022.
REUTERS/Blair Gable

“We are at a crisis point, not just outside the doors and across the country, but the country overall,” said Candice Bergen, the country’s conservative interim leader.

“And so much of it is because of the things he’s said and done.”

It came as the protests that initially started in Ottawa extended elsewhere on Monday as truckers blocked access to the Ambassador Bridge — the busiest bridge connecting Canada to the US, police said.

Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson also declared a state of emergency for the city and pleaded for almost 2,000 extra cops to help quell the nightly demonstrations.

Protesters near Parliament Hill hold signs condemning the vaccine mandates imposed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on February 5, 2022.
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
A protester against vaccine mandates implemented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, holds up a sign on February 5, 2022 in Ottawa, Canada.
Truckers rallied over the weekend near Parliament Hill in hopes of pressuring the government to roll back COVID-19 public health regulations and mandates.
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The protesters have vowed not to leave until all vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The Freedom Convoy initially started as a protest against Trudeau’s vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers — but quickly grew into a mass demonstration against the government’s widespread COVID regulations.

High-profile figures including former President Donald Trump and Tesla founder Elon Musk have publicly backed the protesters amid the controversy.

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