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Mandate protesters in Winnipeg changing locations

A truck protest in downtown Winnipeg is pictured on Feb. 14, 2022. (CTV News Winnipeg Photo) A truck protest in downtown Winnipeg is pictured on Feb. 14, 2022. (CTV News Winnipeg Photo)
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The organizers of a protest against vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions who have been parked outside the Manitoba Legislative Building for more than a week are moving to a new location.

Organizers of the Winnipeg Freedom Convoy announced Friday they will be moving their vehicles off Broadway Avenue between Osborne Street and Kennedy Street to Memorial Park. In a statement, the organizers said moving the protest was a request from the Winnipeg Police Service, as well as an effort to “ensure public safety.”

“As community members, small business owners and long-distance haulers, we are working to minimize our footprint and continue to protest in a peaceful and legal manner,” the statement reads.

The decision comes days after organizers announced that a majority of protesters would be leaving the site, while others would remain.

Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth said there has been sufficient progress in minimizing the impact of the protesters.

"We reserve the right to employ other tactics if the situation changes, but so far that hasn't been necessary," said Smyth.

The chief was also asked about the Emergencies Act that was put in place by the federal government and if it is needed in Winnipeg.

"I don't see the Emergency Act influencing our work at all. We are managing in a way that I think is appropriate right now."

Smyth added he doesn't think the length of this protest is the new normal and that officers deal with a variety of protests that can last day or weeks.

The protest has been ongoing since Feb. 4. The City of Winnipeg is looking at court action to stop the protest, which Mayor Brian Bowman has called “an unlawful occupation.”

-With files from CTV’s Jeff Keele.

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