'He just gained more freedom fighters': Truckers react to Trudeau invoking Emergencies Act
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OTTAWA, Ontario – Truckers who remained in Ottawa on Monday evening were largely undeterred by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's use of the Emergencies Act, felt it was another "power grab" and said they would continue their protest.
One trucker committed to staying opted to resign from his company after he was suspended Monday.
"The more they are trying to put us to the corner, the more we are willing to stand our ground," another trucker, Edward Martyrosya, told Fox News.
Canadian truckers have been protesting against COVID-19 mandates in Ottawa since late January. On Monday, Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history, giving the Canadian government temporary power to deal with border blockades and protests.
But hours later, right outside Parliament, the convoy continued.
Trucker Jan Groen called Trudeau's historic move "disgusting."
He "just keeps grabbing more power, digging deeper, and we just want to talk," Groen told Fox News.
Many felt that rather than deterring the truckers, Trudeau had motivated them.
Trucker Csaba Vizi says Trudeau gained more freedom-fighters Monday (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
"I think it's wonderful," trucker Csaba Vizi said of Emergencies Act. "I'll tell you why: because even more Canadians who have been looking at the whole thing passively from their home, their couch … they might want to wake up and stand up with us."
Trudeau "just gained more freedom fighters," Vizi continued.
Outside the Parliament of Canada (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Another trucker, Derek Brouwer, agreed.
"If anything, it makes him look incompetent to do his job," Brouwer, who's also a farmer, told Fox News.
But one trucker told Fox News that he'd be headed back home to Alberta on Tuesday.
Trucker Tim Norton says he'll be leaving Ottawa Tuesday after Trudeau declared a national public-order emergency (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
"I can't afford to get my truck" and "all my accounts and stuff seized," trucker Tim Norton, who had been parked in Ottawa since the convoy began, told Fox News.
"I got too much money tied up that I can't take a chance of losing it all," the trucker explained. "Some of these guys can, but I can't."
The Freedom Convoy in Ottawa, Canada (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Canada's Emergencies Act broadens the government's authority to handle what it considers an emergency, allowing it to take action such as suspending rights to assemble and cutting off financial support.
Trudeau said the measures would be used to "strengthen and support law enforcement agencies" wherever needed. He said it was "about keeping Canadians safe" and stopping "illegal and dangerous activities."
Other truckers had felt the consequences of their demonstration but were intent on staying.
Trucker Eric Mueller received this text message Monday evening from his employer, but remained intent on staying in Ottawa (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Eric Mueller, for instance, resigned from his job after his company, suspended his contract, registration and insurance after the company received numerous complaints and threats.
Vizi told Fox News: "We are here in large numbers, I'm pretty sure there are going to be some chicken drivers between all of us. But I can tell you for sure, one leaves, 10 others are going to take his place."
Trucker Edward Martyrosya says his company told him they 100% supported him (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Groen said he's "in it for the long-haul."
Canadian trucker Jan Groen says he has no plans on leaving Ottawa (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
The government "doesn't know blue-collar," Groen said. "We are a very conditioned group of people. We get flipped off on the highway … stuck waiting for hours on end."
Canadian trucker, Tyler, says the freedom convoy won't end until all mandates are lifted (Fox News Digital/Lisa Bennatan)
Another trucker, Tyler, who has been rotating in and out of the convoy with a group of truckers, similarly said: "We're not going anywhere, we're here until we're done."