A convoy of Canadian truckers and their supporters are expected to descend on the nation’s capital city of Ottawa Saturday to protest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
The so-called “Freedom Convoy” began as a protest against a vaccine requirement for cross-border truckers, but it’s grown into a mass demonstration against the Canadian government over other coronavirus regulations.
The convoys are scheduled to get in around noon Saturday, but on Friday dozens of vehicles had already blocked the roads in front of Canada’s Parliament buildings. About 2,700 trucks are expected for the protest, a federal government source told Reuters.
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly said Friday that teams will be recording “all aspects of the demonstration” and warned anyone breaking the law will be arrested.
Trudeau told the Canadian Press he was concerned the protest would turn violent but said the convoy represented a “small fringe minority” who “do not represent the views of Canadians.”
Trudeau announced a vaccine mandate for federal workers in October, and last month both Canada and the United States imposed one for cross-border truckers.
The protests have drawn support from some Conservative lawmakers who oppose vaccine mandates in both the US and Canada and others including Tesla founder Elon Musk and Donald Trump Jr.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which represents 4,500 carriers, opposes the protest.
About 90% of Canada’s cross-border truckers and 77% of the population has had two shots, Reuters reported.
With Post wire services.