Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's concerned about the potential for violence during this weekend's planned protest on Parliament Hill by truckers and others joining the crowd.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Trudeau says the "freedom convoy" is no longer a protest against the federal vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers and has morphed into a forum for a small minority of "very angry" people opposed to all public health measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, some of whom espouse violence.
Trudeau says it doesn't worry him that much of the anger is directed at him personally; getting an earful from angry critics goes with the territory of being a politician.
But he says threats of violence should not go with the territory for anyone who steps up to serve, including politicians and health-care workers.
While supporters of the convoy are rallying around a cry of freedom, Trudeau says they're ignoring the freedom of fellow Canadians to protect themselves against COVID-19, get their kids back in school, their businesses back in operation and life back to normal.
A key convoy organizer has urged people to remain peaceful, while Canada Unity, a group behind the protest, falsely believes it can work with the Governor General and Senate of Canada to bypass existing systems of governance and reverse pandemic-related restrictions and penalties.
Trudeau stresses that the protesters do not represent the vast majority of truckers or the vast majority of Canadians who've done the right thing by getting fully vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones.