Truckers protest scheduled for Saturday in Toronto

As a convoy of truckers protesting vaccine mandates plans to descend on Queen’s Park this weekend, police and city officials are making plans to avoid mirroring the chaos seen in the nation’s capital. Toronto hospitals have postponed procedures, closed vaccine clinics and issued warnings about an increased safety risk to staff. Follow live updates here on Saturday.

10:40 With their GoFundMe account now frozen, participants in the “freedom convoy” in Ottawa are now also facing a lawsuit from an Ottawa woman who has opened her case for others to join as a potential class action lawsuit.

On Friday, Ottawa resident Zexi Li filed a lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court, seeking damages for emotional and mental distress, headaches, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and interference with the quiet enjoyment of your home.

“Class Members live in daily torment caused by the incessant sound of truck horns,” the statement of claim reads.

Read the full story of Star’s Jeremy Nuttall

10:30 “Ahead of potential protests this weekend, we urge participants to be respectful of their fellow citizens, especially healthcare workers on their way to work,” Hamilton Health Sciences tweeted Friday afternoon.

“If concerns or threats are identified, hospital security will work with law enforcement to ensure safe access to our sites, particularly emergency departments.”

10:20 (updated) About 70 private vehicles, mostly SUVs and pickup trucks, gathered in Orangeville on Saturday morning heading for the Queen’s Park protest. There were three transport trucks with them. Many were seen with Canadian flags and banners.

9:50 a.m. The TTC tweeted about several bus detours that occurred on Saturday due to the protests. Read them here.

9:40 a.m. Toronto Police tweeted Saturday morning: “The Service is prepared for demonstrations in the city today. There will be more police presence. We continue to maintain road closures in the city center. Ensuring Hospital Row stays clear remains our priority.”

9:35 a.m. “The OPP calls on all those involved in the rolling demonstrations not to put citizen security at risk. It is an offense to block or disrupt traffic on public roads. Ambulances and other emergency vehicles MUST be allowed to pass. Lives depend on it,” the OPP tweeted on Saturday morning.

9:30 a.m. On Friday night, various fundraisers for the truck convoy began popping up on giveendgo.com, a portal that claims to be the “#1 free Christian crowdfunding site.” a group called Warroom Canada, had raised more than $280,000 by Saturday morning.

On Friday, GoFundMe pulled the plug on the truckers’ previous campaign that had raised more than $10 million for the “Freedom Convoy,” cutting off a major source of financial support for the rally that congested the streets of the nation’s capital for a week.

9:20 a.m. The University of Toronto’s downtown campus is bracing for a planned protest convoy on Saturday, just as many students will return to residences this weekend, before a phased return to in-person classes starting Monday.

Although the university remained open until Friday afternoon, access to many buildings on the university’s St. George campus has been restricted to students and faculty with keys or key fobs.

The campus straddles both the east and west sides of Queen’s Park. Thousands of students and teachers cross the park every day to get to class when the university is in session.

Read the full story of Joshua Chong from Star

9:15 a.m. Just as sports teams review game tape, police forces train their officers through real events, studying what worked and what didn’t. As police prepare for a convoy of truckers and others protesting vaccine mandates to gather in Queen’s Park this weekend, the Toronto force only has to look to Ottawa for a glimpse of what may happen.

It is definitely a cautionary tale.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said police and city officials must do “everything possible” to prevent what unfolded in the capital city this week: a protest-turned-occupation that saw downtown Ottawa overrun. by heavy trucks and protesters, businesses forced to close, reports of harassment, honking horns throughout the night, and racist symbols displayed by some attendees.

Read the full story of star Wendy Gillis

9 a.m. Toronto police are closing roads in Toronto’s hospital row ahead of a planned protest this weekend.

The closure includes University Avenue between College Street and Queen Street West, as well as College Street from University Avenue to Yonge Street beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday and running through the weekend.

A flyer circulating calling it the “Convoy for Freedom Toronto” is asking supporters to gather at various locations around the GTA and southern Ontario on Saturday. Protesters are expected to converge at midday at Queen’s Park.

Read the full Star staff story

7 a.m. Saturday The Freedom Convoy makes its way slowly to Queen’s Park in Toronto on Saturday with meetings in Oakville, Etobicoke, Mississauga, Vaughan and other parts of the GTA. Live updates from insidehalton.com

9:00 p.m. Friday: “Officers are working with tractor protest participants to disperse from downtown, through town, and safely on their way home. They expressed their concerns peacefully and respected our community. Thank you to the officers who will be working through the night to keep TO safe,” Toronto Police Chief James Ramer tweeted.

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