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Conservative MP Pierre PoilievreYouTube/Screenshot

(LifeSiteNews) — Canadian Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was taking “advantage” of the coronavirus crisis as a power grab opportunity while voicing support for the 50,000-strong truck convoy currently blockading Parliament.

Speaking alongside a section of the “Freedom Truckers” convoy on its way to Ottawa to protest the Trudeau government’s dictatorial COVID jab mandates, Poilievre said that “governments have taken advantage of COVID to try and take away our freedom and give themselves more power starting with Trudeau, whose Deputy PM said that this was a political opportunity, and that’s how the liberals have viewed this from the very beginning.”

“Right now, they’re trying to win popularity by targeting what they perceive as an unpopular minority and to spread fear, keep everyone afraid for as long as possible,” the politician continued. “That’s what the liberals are doing but we have to replace that fear with freedom and optimism.”

Poilievre has sustained support for the protest over the past week, defending participants against mainstream media slurs, which suggested that they were “extremists.”

The Conservative MP criticized an attempt to smear all protesters supporting the Freedom Convoy by journalists who drew a parallel between the demonstrators and what they called “extreme elements” of COVID mandate resistance.

Poilievre told reporters outside Parliament on Thursday that “when there is a left-wing protest on Parliament Hill, we don’t see the liberal media going through every single name of the people who attend to try and find one person they can disparage the whole group with.”

“Whenever you have five or ten thousand people who are part of any group, you’re bound to have a number who … say unacceptable things, and they should be individually responsible … but that doesn’t mean we disparage the thousands of law abiding and peaceful truckers, who quite frankly have kept all of you alive these last two years,” he stated.

Tens of thousands of citizens gathered in Ottawa over the weekend to join the trucker-led protest over punishing COVID shot mandates introduced by the Trudeau administration. Footage from independent media outlets and private citizens shows vast swathes of the capital packed with protesters and the streets lined with trucks.

In the wake of the unprecedented protests, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has vowed to end the authoritarian COVID “vaccine passport” system in place throughout the province. He threw his support behind the truckers.

In a Saturday statement, Moe thanked the drivers for “delivering the food and household products we all use every day, the parts and equipment that keep our farms and industries running, and every other kind of goods and products you can imagine.”

“My government supports your call to end the cross-border ban on unvaccinated truckers, and it is why, in the not too-distant future, our government will be ending our proof of negative test/proof of vaccination policy in Saskatchewan,” he said.