"The behaviour on display this weekend does not represent you."
Justin Trudeau has shared a message with Canadian truckers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, following a weekend of protesting and demonstrations in Ottawa.
Speaking from an undisclosed location on Monday, January 31, the prime minister spoke to those in the industry who have followed the government's public health advice and received a COVID-19 vaccine.
"To the nearly 90% of truckers across the country who've gotten vaccinated, who continue working hard to keep us fed and keep our economy moving — thank you," he said.
"Truckers have tough jobs. Long hours on the road. Days away from their families," he continued.
Trudeau spoke of the "real challenges" faced by drivers since the pandemic began, noting that they have continued to "put food on our shelves and on our tables."
I want to be very clear: We\u2019re not intimidated by those who hurl abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless. We won\u2019t give in to those who fly racist flags. And we won\u2019t cave to those who engage in vandalism, or dishonour the memory of our veterans.— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau) 1643655541
He also acknowledged their part in delivering "life-saving medication and supplies" in Canada over the past two years.
"We have relied on you and you can rely on us to continue to stand with you and allow you to do your jobs safely."
Mentioning again that almost 90% of truckers have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Canada, he added, "We thank you, deeply, for everything you have done."
Addressing the reports of disruptive, inappropriate and threatening behaviour in the capital over the weekend, he added, "The behaviour on display this weekend does not represent you."
The comments come just two days after protesters arrived in the capital to demonstrate against government-imposed vaccine mandates and other enforced public health measures.
Some of those involved in the Freedom Convoy are Canadian truckers and drivers who are speaking out against stricter vaccination requirements at Canada's borders.
On Sunday, police confirmed that they are investigating the "desecration of the National War Memorial/Terry Fox statue," as well as instances of "threatening/illegal/intimidating behaviour to police/city workers and other individuals."
Trudeau — who confirmed that he has just tested positive for COVID-19 — also had a message for those who took things too far over the weekend.
"We are not intimidated by those who hurl insults and abuse at small business workers and steal food from the homeless," he said. "There is no place in our country for threats, violence or hatred, so to those responsible for this behaviour, it needs to stop."
He also took aim at politicians for their involvement, calling on Erin O'Toole particularly to "reflect very carefully on how he’s walking a path that supports these people who do not represent truckers, let alone the vast majority of Canadians."
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.