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Ottawa declares emergency over trucker COVID rules protests: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: Sky news

The mayor of Ottawa has declared a state of emergency to help deal with an unprecedented 10-day occupation by protesting truckers that has shut down much of the core of the Canadian capital.

Jim Watson said the city was "completely out of control", with demonstrators outnumbering police.

He said the protests posed a threat to residents' safety. There have also been reports of racial attacks.

Ottawa's centre has been paralysed, with vehicles and tents blocking roads.

Demonstrations over vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions by Canadian truckers started in Ottawa.

The "Freedom Convoy" began as a movement against a Canadian vaccine requirement for cross-border truckers but has since turned into a rallying point against public health measures and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.

Earlier on Sunday, a former US ambassador hit out at groups from the US for interfering in the Canada protests as GoFundMe closed a fundraising page set up by groups in the US to help support the truckers' rallies.

A state of emergency will give the city additional powers, including access to the equipment required by frontline workers and emergency services.

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