A cyclist stops in front of trucks blocked on Metcalfe Street as a rally against COVID-19 restrictions, which began as a cross-country convoy protesting a federal vaccine mandate for truckers, continues in Ottawa, on Friday, February 4, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

A cyclist stops in front of trucks blocked on Metcalfe Street as a rally against COVID-19 restrictions, which began as a cross-country convoy protesting a federal vaccine mandate for truckers, continues in Ottawa, on Friday, February 4, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Tow-truck companies refuse to haul away large trucks gridlocking Ottawa

Ottawa’s city manager says all tow-truck companies on contract with the city have refused to haul away the big rigs that have gridlocked Ottawa’s downtown for the second week in a row.

Steve Kanellakos says the consensus seems to be that many of the companies don’t want to do the work because the heavy truck industry is such a large part of their livelihoods and they won’t want to damage that part of their businesses.

He says the city is reviewing the contracts to see what recourse it has in this unprecedented situation.

The trucks have been blocking city streets and blowing air horns day and night in Ottawa since Jan. 28 in protest of vaccine mandates.

In the meantime, Ottawa’s mayor has reached out to other large Ontario cities to see if they can help, and the city is calling companies across Eastern Ontario.

Kanellakos says the tow companies are still doing other work for the City of Ottawa, including towing regularly sized vehicles.