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Protesters gather in front of Parliament Hill for nationwide carbon tax protests

Protesters have gathered in front of Parliament Hill in Ottawa as demonstrations against the federal government’s recent raise of the carbon tax are expected to take place across the country.

A small group of protesters also gathered near the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge linking Ottawa and Gatineau on Monday morning, but there were no significant traffic interruptions.

Demonstrations organized by the group Nationwide Protest Against Carbon Tax were set to take place at the bridge at 8 a.m. and in front of Parliament Hill at 11 a.m.

Ontario Provincial Police posted to social media reminding residents to be patient during demonstrations and to remind protesters remain lawful, peaceful and safe.

“While the OPP acknowledges and respects the right to lawful, peaceful and safe expressions of opinion, there is no right to restrict or disrupt transportation infrastructure. All Ontarians have a right to free and uninhibited passage within the province of Ontario,” OPP said on X, formerly Twitter.

“Your message can be heard without endangering lives.”

The Ottawa Police Service also issued traffic alerts for the downtown core of Ottawa for the planned demonstrations.

Northbound Metcalfe Street is currently closed between Queen Street and Wellington Street for the protests, according to the City of Ottawa’s traffic map.

Police in the area are directing traffic. The duration of the road closure is unknown.

The bridge was one of 17 locations identified by the group, who are organizing protests along interprovincial borders across Canada.

A group of protesters in front of Parliament Hill demonstrating against a hike in the carbon tax on April 1, 2024 (Dave Charbonneau/CTV News Ottawa

The group’s website says it hopes to maintain at least one centre lane open for traffic and to continue the event until goals are achieved, “regardless of duration.”

The protests come as the federal government raised the price of carbon from $65 per tonne to $80 per tonne on April 1.

The tax hike has been a significant attack point for conservatives, and several premiers, who have called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cancel the increase.

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