Protesters briefly target Ottawa airport as demonstration reaches 2-week mark

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The latest on Day 14 of the protest:


Protesters who have disrupted Ottawa traffic for two weeks took their efforts to Ottawa’s main airport for about two hours Thursday morning.

Traffic cameras showed a group of vehicles heading there around 8 a.m. ET and that group circled until around 10 a.m. before heading back to the nearby site on Coventry Road.

More than 50 flights were still scheduled to arrive or leave when protest vehicles began to disrupt traffic.

In a statement, the Ottawa International Airport Authority said, as of 9:50 a.m., about 60 to 70 vehicles were involved and it had minimal effects on the airport.

“We are very disappointed that the protesters have chosen to disrupt an industry that has already been decimated by the pandemic.”

People stand in the bed of a pickup truck as drivers protesting Canada’s COVID-19 rules circle the roads in front of Ottawa’s international airport terminal to slow traffic Feb. 9, 2022. (Raphael Tremblay/CBC)

This is the 14th day of these protests in Ottawa and on Wednesday, Ottawa police gave its latest warning about enforcing laws broken by participants, particularly blocking roads.

On Thursday the force tweeted about 22 vehicles leaving the city among those parked in the downtown core and at the Coventry Road parking lot camp, while another vehicle had been towed from Centretown.

It’s not known how many new vehicles might come to Ottawa this weekend, but the last available estimate Monday stated 418 protest vehicles were in the streets around Parliament Hill.

Disruptions to police, city business

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa police were also targets this morning. Police said people were illegally flooding both 911 and its non-emergency phone number.

Almost simultaneously, the YouTube stream for a virtual City of Ottawa committee meeting faced a “security issue” when a message appeared blaming several people for the current events in the capital.

WATCH | City of Ottawa committee meeting disrupted by security breach:

‘Security issue’ in YouTube live stream interrupts Ottawa planning committee meeting

Caitlin Salter-MacDonald, deputy city clerk, said unknown actors gained access to the city’s YouTube channel and displayed a message critical of the mayor, police chief and prime minister as the planning committee was just beginning its meeting. 0:43

This was the only meeting not cancelled when city council voted Wednesday to postpone municipal business to focus on the protest response. City officials are now investigating how the stream was compromised.

Ottawa’s protest has also led to copycat events across Canada at border crossings in Windsor, Ont., Alberta and a new demonstration at the Manitoba-North Dakota border.

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