“Freedom Convoy” protesters began protesting in parts of the Greater Toronto Area, while groups continued to march on Ottawa ahead of a rally this week against COVID-related mandates.
Truck drivers and supportive protesters are on their way to Ottawa from eastern and western parts of the country, as well as from southern Ontario where routes are scheduled to depart Thursday from several locations, including Windsor, Sarnia, Niagara and Toronto, according to organizers’ website.
The website indicates that the convoys would move through the Toronto area in the late morning hours, until noon.
‘Freedom Convoy’ is expected to move through the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday
Protesters gathered in parts of the CTA on Thursday, with several groups on top of overpasses in anticipation of convoys passing through.
Protesters also gathered at Vaughan Mills, where a convoy would depart around noon.
The groups are scheduled to arrive in Kingston on Thursday night and start heading to Ottawa on Friday, the website said.
Protesters of ‘Freedom Convoy’ gather in CTA
“What I’m asking for is basically restrictions and restrictions that need to be lifted like the rest of the world is starting to do,” protester Mark Smith told Global News in Drumbo, Ont.
“There is actually a freedom movement around the world and we all come together just to try to get our lives back. And we hope with all this rally and freedom convoy going on, we will achieve it. We want no violence and no problems. “
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Among the topics of discussion for protesters is the Canadian government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers to avoid quarantine.
Organizers of the protest described the mandate for cross-border truck drivers to avoid quarantine as an example of political transgression that results in economic damage, arguing that the policy hurts small businesses and deprives some workers of the means to survive.
The United States has also instituted a vaccine mandate for truck drivers.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which singled out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday as the “largest truck drivers’ association in Canada,” spoke out against the convoy, saying protests on public roads are “not how to express differences with government policy.”
Trudeau also said Monday that the vast majority of truck drivers in Canada have been vaccinated and will not be affected by the cross-border vaccine mandate.
Meanwhile, the Ontario Provincial Police have warned of possible delays on roads due to convoys passing through.
OPP sers. Kerry Schmidt told Global News he was aware of an incident around 9:30 a.m. where the convoy caused an ambulance to be delayed because it was heading south on Highway 400.
More to come.
– with files by Kevin Nielsen, Rachel Gilmore and The Canadian Press
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