OTTAWA — Members of Parliament are meeting today with James Topp, a Canadian soldier charged in May for speaking out against vaccine requirements while in uniform.
The meetings come as Topp and his supporters are set to demonstrate in Ottawa next week after walking for the past four months from Vancouver to protest federal vaccine mandates.
A 22-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces who served in Afghanistan, Topp faces two counts of conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline for comments that he made while wearing his uniform in February.
While Topp was driven to Ottawa for the meetings today, he and his supporters won't officially arrive in the capital until June 30, and their pending arrival has stoked fresh fears of another round of anti-vaccine and anti-government protests.
Topp told one group of what appeared to be exclusively Conservative MPs that he was marching in part to get all vaccine mandates repealed, and for the reinstatement of anyone who lost their job because of such a requirement.
Topp also said that he had no plans to lead an occupation of the capital, and invited Ottawa police to work with him to facilitate his planned march through the city to the National War Memorial.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2022.
The Canadian Press