There are extensive video interviews below speaking to several people about how the Freedom Convoy is affecting them.
VIDEO – February 9, 2022 Freedom Convoy Ottawa
A Cobourg area trucker said due to financial losses mounting he’d like to leave the protest in Ottawa but can’t because of police won’t let him.
Today’s Northumberland spent two days in the city talking with people from Northumberland County affected or involved in the protest along with others from across the Ontario along with Northumberland/Peterborough South MP Philip Lawrence at his Ottawa Office across from Parliament Hill.
Brendon Brown (age 25) has been in Ottawa since the Freedom Convoy arrived on January 29, 2022.
Brown spoke with Today’s Northumberland and said people have left, but there are also new people coming to Ottawa to protest the COVID-19 mandates.
McCracken Hauling Inc. originally had three trucks taking part in the protest, but one left on Monday.
Another driver and Brown have been parked in the convoy for 12-days, Brown said the protest is taking its toll financially.
For nearly the entire time, Brown and another truck from McCracken Hauling Inc. have been parked on the east side of Parliament at the corner of Rideau Street and Colonel By Drive.
Neither driver has received a ticket or been spoken to by police. Brown states that none of the trucks in his area have received tickets or been spoken too.
Brown said the days have been long, but the support from the public has been amazing as he looks at his dashboard that is filled with “thank you” cards from people who have stopped by his truck.
“To be honest we want to get out. The OPP are not allowing us to leave. They’re telling us they are scared it’s going to cause a riot.”
One of McCracken’s transports left on Monday evening, but two others are in a cluster of big rigs.
“The Ottawa Police have barricades up and they’re not willing to move anything to let any trucks out.”
“We’ve been trying to leave since Wednesday.”
When the one transport left on Monday night, Brown said there was approximately 30 police in close proximity for the rest of the night.
“They tell everyone they want us to leave, then they won’t let us out.”
Brown said he still fully supports the the convoy, but “it’s starting to get costly sitting here.”
“We need to be here for Canada, but life still has to go on. People still need to feed their families. At some point in time something has to give where – when’s enough, enough?”
“As soon as we can get out we probably will.”
“It’s starting to cause some grief at home and it’s starting to get very costly.”
Ottawa Police have brought up how approximately 25% of the transports have children in them, but Brown said there are a lot of husband and wife teams.
“I would say the majority of trucks that do have kids in them – it’s not new to those kids. A lot of drivers home school their kids.”
“These families have learned to teach their kids and adapt and live in a truck.”
Jill Rusaw from Colborne, but lives in Ottawa has been out of work since the convoy arrived.
Rusaw works at the Rideau Centre which has been closed since January 29 putting her and approximately 1,500 other people temporarily out of work.
Trucks were parked on her street for most of last week and said most were respectful of their surroundings with the noise stating they were “nice and friendly.”
But with the hourly noise with the horns in close proximity and in the distance, the noise bothered her dog and to keep her mom in Colborne happy she moved in with her sister.She has heard “horror stories” from neighbours and co-workers about the truckers.
“I saw a woman outside my window and she had a sign that said, “please stop honking, my baby is sleeping.”
“And she was responded to by even more honking and verbal threats of physical and sexual violence.”
“The Ottawa residents don’t deserve this. It’s completely out of our hands what the government does.”
Rusaw also lived in the apartment building that suspects appeared to try and intentionally set on fire before taping the doors shut.
Temporarily living with her sister in another section of Ottawa away from the noise, Rusaw wasn’t home, but when she went back to get supplies for her and her dog the fire alarm went off in the building.
“I was nervous going in. It had a ominous vibe.”
Freely stating the government isn’t perfect Rusaw said the Federal Government is following the advice from doctors.
Stating Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s handing of it could have been better.
“Any answer is better than no answer. They (convoy) came for him, whether I agree with why they came here for him or not, it’s still the citizens of Ottawa that are answering (for the Government’s decision)”
A Ottawa woman brought her two young children down on Wednesday to meet and support the truckers.
“We’re really tired of the way things are. We’re really tired of our kids growing up this way.”
The woman who didn’t give her name said she is double vaccinated said she, “really wants to go back to living our lives whether you want to wear masks or don’t want to wear masks or whether you want to be vaccinated or don’t want to be vaccinated.”
The woman’s husband is a emergency responder and told his wife they have had no issues around the protest.
“In fact, he’s had less calls since the protest started.”
Another woman and her husband from Crystal Beach have been in Ottawa for several days hoping to get their freedom back.
“They should never have been taken from us.”
“It’s been a long two years.”
The couple said they are not vaccinated.
“We’ve been ostracised. I have a cousin who committed suicide in the third lockdown. This has broken up our family – our son isn’t talking to us.”
MP Philip Lawrence said the “divisive rhetoric” cause by the government is “disappointing.”
“That being said, obviously we condemn any expressions of hatred completely. It’s reprehensible, it’s terrible.”
But Lawrence added, “the blockade has to end. Canadians have to get back to work.”
Lawrence said there needs to be a plan to end the restrictions and mandates.