Ontario Provincial Police are warning of potential traffic disruptions as a controversial trucker convoy is expected to roll through the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday.
In a tweet, the OPP said it is aware that there could be delays on major routes such as the Queen Elizabeth Way, Highways 400, 427, 403 and 401. They say the delays could run until Saturday.
Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, spokesperson for the OPP's Highway Safety Division, said the police are keeping a close eye on the convoy, which was set up to protest against a federal rule requiring all cross-border drivers be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Schmidt said the police may recommend that motorists avoid certain areas once officers get a better idea of where protest gatherings might be.
"Obviously, our responsibilities and role as law enforcement is maintaining public safety, traffic safety in all of our communities and the highways are certainly included within that," Schmidt said.
"We are asking people to have some patience. I don't know what to expect."
The convoy is scheduled to gather at noon on Thursday at Vaughan Mills mall before heading east to Kingston.
"We're certainly aware of an influx of traffic heading towards the GTA and ultimately out towards eastern Ontario," Schmidt said on Wednesday.
On Friday in Ottawa, the convoy is expected to demand that the federal government end the vaccine mandate for truckers crossing the Canada-U.S. border.
The group that organized the convoy, Canada Unity, is calling on the Governor General and the Senate to set up a committee to look at reversing all COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine passports.
The OPP's provincial liaison members have been in contact with organizers to find out their intentions, to monitor the situation and to encourage the truckers to maintain lawful behaviour.