Roughly 100 kids living in trucks involved in Ottawa convoy protest: police

Roughly 100 kids living in trucks involved in Ottawa convoy protest: police
Courtesy of CBC

OTTAWA — Roughly 100 kids are living in the trucks idling on the streets of downtown Ottawa during the cold, noisy and prolonged protest that has grabbed hold of the capital, police say.

Police officers patrolling the core noticed families and children in the core during the early days of the protest, said Deputy Chief Steve Bell.

Almost 25 per cent of the 418 large vehicles still blockading Ottawa’s streets are occupied by families with children, he said.

“It’s something that greatly concerns us,” Bell said at a briefing Tuesday.

Police have called in the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa to make sure the children are all right, he said.

Kids have been a fixture of the protest since it began more than two weeks ago. Demonstrators have bemoaned the impact of vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restriction on their children and called for them to be lifted. Children have been seen wearing and carrying signs, including one that read “I want my childhood back.”

But police are worried about some of the conditions children have been exposed to throughout the protest. The parliamentary precinct has been the epicentre of overwhelmingly loud honking from the trucks and big rigs parked along Wellington Street. The site also stinks of diesel fumes from the idling vehicles, smoke from barbecues and campfires lit by demonstrators, and marijuana.

“We’re concerned about cold, we’re concerned about access to sanitation — the ability to shower — there’s a multitude of concerns,” Bell said.

Bell said he is also worried the kids could be put at risk if they were to stage a police operation in the area.

The Children’s Aid Society did not immediately respond to questions about what exactly they will be looking for when they visit the site to check on the children.

Police are not looking to remove the children, but rather will take advice from Children’s Aid about whether any further steps are necessary.

“We just think it’s an important factor that complicates and makes this an even more challenging operation,” Bell said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2022.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press

The Canadian PressThe Canadian Press

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!