Canada sets up hate crime hotline amid reports of protesters intimidating Ottawa residents

WION Web Team
Ottawa Updated: Feb 02, 2022, 11:35 PM(IST)

Truckers protest against Covid mandates Photograph:( Reuters )

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The announcement came days after residents and organisations across Ottawa complained to city councillors, media and on social media about hate-related threats.

As Canada continues to grapple with massive protests against Covid mandates, the Ottawa province has set up a hotline to report hate incidents as reports of agitators threatening and intimidating residents emerge.

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said at a video news conference that the hotline “will field reports of criminal activity, threats, assaults and hate-related crimes, directly related to the demonstrations.”

"We already have a number of hate-related incidents that we're investigating," Sloly said on Monday.

“We encourage anyone who's been the victim of a hate crime or think they may have been the victim of a hate crime or exposed to hate incidents to contact us."

The announcement came days after residents and organisations across Ottawa complained to city councillors, media and on social media about hate-related threats.

The agitators are part of the “Freedom Convoy” of truckers who have been opposing a recent vaccine mandate asking truckers entering Canada to be fully vaccinated or face testing and quarantine requirements.

The agitation snowballed into a wider protest against Covid-19 restrictions, with the blockade of the city and the obstruction of a US-Canadian border crossing.

Demonstrators have been accused of desecrating a national war memorial and harassing residents and workers at a homeless shelter.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson on Monday condemned reports that a couple living near the protests was harassed over a Pride flag (the rainbow flag of LGBTQ) displayed on their home.

“This kind of intimidation and bullying tactics, it's causing great angst in the community. And here's an example of homophobia," Watson said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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