The Freedom Convoy may be under siege in Ottawa, but at least one province is yielding to the pressure to drop the authoritarian Covid restrictions: Alberta, Canada.
“As people protesting public health measures related to COVID-19 continued to impede traffic in southern Alberta … Premier Jason Kenney announced his government would be announcing a path forward for the lifting of public health measures next week, acknowledging many Albertans are sick of having limitations on their lives,” Global News Canada reported.
Premier Kenney announced in a Facebook livestream that a plan to lift the Covid measures is underway.
“Early next week, the COVID cabinet committee will approve a plan for the careful lifting of public health measures, beginning with the restriction exemption program,” Kenney said. “We introduced this proof of vaccination program reluctantly to avoid a catastrophe in our hospitals during the Delta wave in September when Alberta and Saskatchewan were hit hardest because we had the lowest level of vaccination in Canada.”
“Kenney says Alberta is in a better place due to higher levels of vaccination and great immunity from past COVID recoveries,” local outlet City News reported.
Thus, Kenney is one of the first major politicians in the U.S. and Canada to acknowledge that natural immunity from prior infection is a factor in determining if a community is at risk from the coronavirus.
“But the plan to end the restrictions exemption program is just the start,” the City News report added. “Kenney says more removals will occur in the near future.”
“We will also lay out a simple phased plan to remove almost all public health restrictions later this month,” the premier continued, qualifying, “as long as we see a trend of declining pressure on our hospitals.”
Calgary and other regional public health officials and stakeholders pushed back on the Alberta premier’s statements.
“He says if the province moves ahead with lifting public health measures, but cities implement their own policies, it would be a great concern in a series of tweets,” City News noted.
But Kenney’s statement is a breaking of the ice that is likely to cause fracturing among the stakeholders with a vested interest in perpetuating the Covid restrictions. It is also likely to move public sentiment in the direction of lifting the mandates.
“My message to those who are frustrated about COVID(-19) policies is this: I hear you loud and clear,” Kenney said. “You are right to point to the damaging impact of restrictions.”
After Kenney made the announcement, he pleaded that the peaceful protests remain legal and do not cause major disruption.
“While I sympathize with and agree with many of the messages being sent by convoy protests over the past week, let me just underscore that a society built on the rule of law cannot accept protests that block critical infrastructure, that disrupts communities and countless law-abiding citizens,” he said.
But in other provinces, particularly in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, there are conflicting reports of police activity to counter the Freedom Convoy protests.
It was reported earlier to Becker News that police and the SWAT team “came in and raided the 302 Coventry base camp in Ottawa.”
There are well-substantiated reports earlier that police are disrupting fuel supplies to the truckers.
The following video appears to document the police disrupting fuel supplies.
A citizen journalist sent me this video that seems to show police seizing fuel from truckers. More reports to come — I’m on the streets right now.#TruckerConvoy https://t.co/8hpC710hZK pic.twitter.com/5PEwZcTRq6
— Lincoln Jay (@lincolnmjay) February 6, 2022
Rebel News initially reported that freedom truckers and their supporters were being arrested in the streets of Ottawa.
BREAKING: Ottawa Police move against peaceful protesters, arresting truckers in the streets.
More to come from our independent journalists. Follow us at https://t.co/QBAE7LfY31.
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) February 6, 2022
Becker News has contacted the Ottawa Police and asked to confirm reports of mass arrests. Any response from the police will be posted as forthcoming.
In an important update, Rebel News journalist Ezra Levant reported the Ottawa Police appeared to back off of arrests when media showed up with cameras.
I just spoke with our reporter @lincolnmjay. He says that when he showed up with his camera, police seemed to stop what they were doing. He has not seen an arrest with his own eyes yet — the situation is very dynamic. Will report more later. https://t.co/FNvsALURmf
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) February 6, 2022
This is consistent with earlier police behavior. On Friday night, the Ottawa Police moved in as if ready to forcibly disperse the peaceful protesters, but subsequently backed down.
“Hold the line!” a protester shouted as the police backed away from forcing a confrontation.
The Mayor of Ottawa, meanwhile, has warned that the city is “losing the battle” against mandate protests. As Slate reported:
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said protesters far outnumber police and authorities are “losing this battle” against the demonstrators that have camped out in Canada’s capital for 10 days.
“The situation at this point is completely out of control because the individuals with the protest are calling the shots,” Watson said on a local radio station. “They have far more people than we have police officers.”
Thus, there is evidence the Freedom Convoy protests have yielded tangible results from the Canadian government. The truckers, farmers, ranchers, and their supporters figured out that they cannot ‘comply our way out of this.’ It is now up to the rest of the world whether people are going to learn from their lesson and follow suit.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.