The Weather Network
Dec. 5, 2019 | Thursday
Local News
Anti-Trudeau group protests in NOTL: Yellow vests, climate change 'a hoax' and Islam questioned

 

A small group of yellow-vest clad protesters gathered in Niagara-on-the-Lake Sunday afternoon to express their displeasure with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The six protesters stood at the intersection of Mary and Mississauga streets, near Tim Hortons, exhorting drivers to honk in support of them.

They held signs that read “Incompetent Trudeau is a national disaster,” “We love pipelines, oil and gas,” “Stop electing idiots” and “Trudeau hates veterans and patriotism.”

Some passing drivers honked their approval and gave a thumbs-up to the demonstrators.

The protesters, who say they are “Canadian patriots," told The Lake Report they came to NOTL to voice their concerns with Trudeau’s governance.

Among the issues they say they're concerned with are illegal immigration, the carbon tax and Canada being a part of the U.N. migration pact. One protester said that climate change is a hoax and a pamphlet the protesters gave to The Lake Report made the same claim. 

With protest locations rotating every weekend, last week’s demonstration was held in Niagara Falls.

Ten-year-old Ashley Bouvier joined her grandmother Lee Bouvier.

“I know that Trudeau is a hypocrite because he lies to people,” the Grade 5 student from St. Catharines said in an interview. “I’m out here to protest because I feel that Trudeau shouldn’t be here because he’s bringing all these illegal immigrants to our country and they shouldn’t be here."

Ashley said the issue has been important to her since Trudeau was elected and said she’d like to see him resign so that Canada “would become better.”

Lee Bouvier said she fears for her granddaughter as she feels people aren’t allowed to speak about certain topics, such as Islam.  “We have to tip-toe and use coded words to have conversations,” she said.

Bouvier, who said she is an atheist, said Islamophobia needs to be defined and she asked why Islam is "put above" Christianity. She compared it to a parent favouring one child over another. 

Duke Willis, who grew up in NOTL, agreed, saying there is no freedom of speech in the country and he feels he has to be cautious about what he says about some topics.

“I’m against special rights for certain groups,” he said in an interview. “Sikhs are being allowed to not wear a helmet…Since when is a religious ideology is above our laws?”

A man, who introduced himself as Rahn Edwards, said he is the organizer of the group, which he said has about 50 members across the Niagara Region.

He said their first protest was on Jan. 2, 2018, in front of the office of St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle. They’ve been holding protests across Niagara Region since then, he said.

During their first protest in January last year, members of Antifa, an anti-fascist group, held a counter-protest, Edwards said. Counter-protesters called them names, stood in front of their signs and put their hands up, he added.

“When they can’t handle facts, they call people names,” he said.

Edwards said the group used to advertise their upcoming protests in advance, but now the times and locations are given out to participants one day prior.

A protester from Welland, who identified himself as Vince Sutch, has previously participated in protests in Welland and Niagara Falls. He said he is against bad government and is scared Trudeau will give the country away.

One of the protesters, who declined to give his name, said he can’t be called a Nazi or a white supremacist because his grandfather fought against Nazis in the Second World War.

He said he thought a protest in NOTL might spark a “hostile” reaction as the town is “high-end” and people living here “don’t really care.” 

The protesters said they will continue holding demonstrations across the region until the federal election in October.

 

– with files from Richard Harley.

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