About a hundred “Save Canada” supporters gathered early Thursday in Enfield, NS, to send truck drivers on their way to Ottawa to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The event was held at The Big Stop, less than an hour outside Halifax. Global News was on the scene at 5:30 p.m. local time.
The convoy of truck drivers left for Ottawa at 7 a.m., which would arrive at the New Brunswick border at about 9 p.m.
Truck drivers from PEI and NB will meet with the Nova Scotia group in Moncton and drive to Fredericton.
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One of the organizers in Nova Scotia, Samantha Monaghan, tells Global News the group wants Ottawa to end all mandates.
“Was our pro-choice, we are not anti-wax,” Monaghan said in Enfield.
Nova Scotia RCMP issued a statement on Wednesday night warning that traffic could be backed up as a result of the convoy.
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The convoy movement, known as the “Red Canada” movement or the “freedom convoy”, began last Sunday in British Columbia when hundreds of truck drivers took to the road to protest against the mandate.
The federal government ended the truck drivers’ release of the vaccine mandate on January 15th. This means Canadian truck drivers must be fully vaccinated if they want to avoid a two-week quarantine and occurrence molecular test for COVID-19 before entering Canada.
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A GoFundMe fundraiser for the convoy and participating truck drivers has already raised more than $ 5 million.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance estimates that about 15 percent of truck drivers – as many as 16,000 – are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The organization strongly condemned any protests on public roads, highways and bridges and encouraged all truck drivers to be vaccinated.
Global News reported this week that far-right and white nationalist groups see the convoy as an opportunity.
Speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was a “small fringe minority heading to Ottawa who hold unacceptable views.”
Trudeau said the vast majority of truck drivers have been vaccinated. “What we hear from some people associated with this convoy is completely unacceptable,” he added.
Organizers of the truck convoy were adamant that the extremist voices did not represent the position of the protesters.
– with files by Rachel Gilmore and The Canadian Press.
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