On Day 24 of the Truckers for Freedom Convoy, the Ottawa police chief resigned, Quebec announced they were dropping their vaccine passports and RCMP hugged protesters at the Coutts border.
Just over two weeks into the protests, Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly announced that he would be resigning as criticism over his handling of the ongoing demonstrations made his position untenable.
“Since the onset of this demonstration, I have done everything possible to keep this city safe and to put an end to this unprecedented and unforeseeable crisis,” Sloly said in his statement posted to Twitter.
“It has been a difficult journey, but I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished.”
Ottawa mayor Jim Watson said on Power and Politics today that he believed Sloly “made the right decision.”
“The tipping point for me was that we were seeing no noticeable action in clearing out the baseball stadium, Wellington street and residential areas,” the mayor told CBC.
In response to the resignation, convoy organizer Benjamin Dichter posted to Twitter asking Sloly to “come down to the convoy and say hello to us.”
“Haven’t I been saying for almost a week that Chief Sloly will be taking early retirement,” Dichter wrote. “We wish him all the best & thank him for his service…come down to the convoy and say hello to us. We know you were put in a difficult position.”
Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube announced that Quebec would be the latest province to be getting rid of their provincial vaccine passport regime.
“We’re doing it because it’s the right time to do it – because it’s safe for public health. And as I said, it’s there when we need it,” Minister Dube said.
As of Wednesday, unvaccinated Quebecers will no longer be banned from entering big-box stores, liquor stores or cannabis shops, and by Feb. 21, they will no longer need to show proof of vaccination to enter church or to attend weddings or funerals.
Quebec announced that all remaining mandates would be lifted on March 14.
Read more about Quebec’s announcement here.
The federal government also announced a slight easing of travel measures today.
As of Feb. 28, vaccinated Canadians will have the option of presenting a negative rapid antigen test or a molecular PCR test in order to meet pre-entry requirements.
Unvaccinated Canadians will still be required to be tested on arrival, and a mandatory 14-day quarantine is still in force, but unvaccinated children will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to school or daycare.
Read more about the latest travel restrictions here.
In Ottawa, protesters were again seen dancing today, and the trucks along Wellington street have not been moved by law enforcement.
A touching moment at the Coutts border was captured today and posted to social media as RCMP officers and demonstrators were seen hugging one another and shaking hands.
This was the first viral interaction between law enforcement and protesters since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Emergencies Act.
The crowd sings O Canada and then proceeds to shake hands with the officers and yell “freedom.”
Interactions between law enforcement and demonstrators in British Columbia were not as friendly as in Alberta, however.
Rebel News reported that protesters were being arrested at the Pacific Highway border blockade.
True North will continue to post updates from across the country as protests continue.
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