'I don't stand with selfishness': Trucker 'freedom convoy' drives through Ontario as Canadians support, condemn COVID-19 vaccine protest

·3 min read
'I don't stand with selfishness': Trucker 'freedom convoy' drives through Ontario as Canadians support, condemn COVID-19 vaccine protest

Canadians were watching Ontario as the trucker convoy arrived in the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday, met with crowds gathering in support of the so-called "freedom convoy."

People gather to support truck drivers on their way to Ottawa in protest of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio


People gather to support truck drivers on their way to Ottawa in protest of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

The convoy is making its way to Ottawa to protest the vaccine mandate for truckers crossing the Canada-U.S. border.

People gather to support truck drivers on their way to Ottawa in protest of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People gather to support truck drivers on their way to Ottawa in protest of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, January 27, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Ontario Provincial Police is urging everyone to be "patient and respectful" on highways with potential impacts from the convoy.

VAUGHAN, ON - JANUARY 27: People line the embankment facing Hwy 400 as they await the trucks. The Freedom Rally made its way through the GTA today with a stop at Vaughan Mills Mall parking lot to pick up supplies and be greeted by hundreds of supporters. The convoy itself doesnt appear to be more than 15-20 trucks with personal vehicles also joining the travels. CORONAPD  Toronto Star/Rick Madonik        (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
VAUGHAN, ON - JANUARY 27: People line the embankment facing Hwy 400 as they await the trucks. The Freedom Rally made its way through the GTA today with a stop at Vaughan Mills Mall parking lot to pick up supplies and be greeted by hundreds of supporters. The convoy itself doesnt appear to be more than 15-20 trucks with personal vehicles also joining the travels. CORONAPD Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

"OPP requests that convoy participants obey all traffic laws and behave in a manner that ensures safety for all users of the roadways," OPP tweeted on Thursday.

"Participants must allow passage of emergency vehicles and not impede traffic flow."

VAUGHAN, ON - JANUARY 27: The Freedom Rally made its way through the GTA today with a stop at Vaughan Mills Mall parking lot to pick up supplies and be greeted by hundreds of supporters. The convoy itself doesnt appear to be more than 15-20 trucks with personal vehicles also joining the travels. CORONAPD  Toronto Star/Rick Madonik        (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
VAUGHAN, ON - JANUARY 27: The Freedom Rally made its way through the GTA today with a stop at Vaughan Mills Mall parking lot to pick up supplies and be greeted by hundreds of supporters. The convoy itself doesnt appear to be more than 15-20 trucks with personal vehicles also joining the travels. CORONAPD Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The Canadian Trucking Alliance has indicated that 85 per cent of the 120,000 Canadian truck drivers who regularly cross the border are vaccinated.

"The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges. CTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreements with government policies should be expressed," a statement from the group on Jan. 22 reads.

"Members of the trucking industry who want to publicly express displeasure over government policies can choose to hold an organized, lawful event on Parliament Hill or contact their local MP. What is not acceptable is disrupting the motoring public on highways and commerce at the border."

Several people took to social media on Thursday to condemn the convoy.

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