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

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

In a letter Monday to Speaker Anthony Rota, Singh said he’ll ask for a debate “on the urgent situation facing our country.”

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

“For over a week, the people of Ottawa have been under siege, and a similar demonstration in Coutts, Alta., has blocked the border and prevented important goods from reaching the people who need them….

“Not only have these convoys impacted people in their homes, they have also resulted in symbols of hate being promoted, sacred memorials being vandalized, local citizens being harassed and health-care workers being intimidated.”

Singh is taking questions from reporters on his request at 10:30 a.m. ET Monday.

Over the weekend, the City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency, with Mayor Jim Watson describing the situation in the country’s capital as the “the most serious emergency our city has ever faced.”

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s not willing to negotiate with the protesters who are demanding either an end to all vaccine mandates or a change in government.

“Having a group of people who disagree with the outcome of an election, who want to go a different way and bring in an alternative government, is a non-starter in a responsible democracy,” he said.

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