Speaking to CBC Radio’s The House, Trudeau defended his federal vaccine mandate and his decision to invoke the Emergencies Act to clamp down on the “Freedom Convoy” protesters who brought the federal government in Ottawa to a standstill earlier this year.
“It was their choice and nobody ever was going to force anyone into doing something they don't want to do,” said Trudeau. “But there are consequences when you don't. You cannot choose to put at risk your co-workers. You cannot choose to put at risk the people sitting beside you on an airplane.”
Canada is one of the few countries with travel restrictions, which are being slowly rolled back. Canada recently scrapped vaccine mandates for certain trips and temporarily suspended on-arrival random testing for vaccinated travellers.
The requirement for a vaccine to travel both within and out of Canada has been suspended since June 20.
Speaking at length about the “Freedom Convoy” protests and his government’s response to it, Trudeau denied that his remarks about the protesters, which he then called a “small fringe minority” who hold “unacceptable views” contributed to the anger that ignited the widespread movement.
“No. I will always call out unacceptable rhetoric and hateful language wherever I see it,” insisted Trudeau, stating that his remarks were only intended for those he believes were deliberately spreading disinformation.
“Now, unfortunately, with… our modern social media and communications world, that was picked up and conflated and extended on. And I'm not going to start to say I was taken out of context, but my point was that there are people who are deliberately trying to stir up hate and intolerance and misinformation,” said Trudeau.
He added, ”And we do need to call out those folks even as we continue to do everything we can to reach out in thoughtful, reasonable ways to people who do have worries or concerns and focus on allaying those worries and concerns.”