Protesters against COVID-19 measures gather in Enfield to see off Ottawa-bound convoy

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Hundreds gathered at the Enfield, N.S., Big Stop to show support for truckers headed to Ottawa to protest public health mandates. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Hundreds gathered at the Enfield, N.S., Big Stop to show support for truckers headed to Ottawa to protest public health mandates. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

There were few trucks present but around 250 people turned up before dawn in Enfield, N.S., to see off an Ottawa-bound convoy protesting COVID-19 public health mandates.

Flag-waving supporters carrying placards bearing slogans including "Thank you truckers" and "True north strong and free" congregated in the Big Stop parking lot, and some lined Highway 102. At some points the crowd chanted "freedom" and sang the national anthem.

Another convoy of trucks and other vehicles has also been been heading to Ottawa from western Canada and is expected to arrive in the capital this weekend, part of a protest against a federal vaccine mandate for truck drivers.

The mandate, which took effect Jan. 15, states that all Canadian cross-border essential workers, including truckers, must show proof of vaccination at a port of entry to avoid stringent testing requirements and quarantine.

Truckers travelling within Canada are not affected by the new measures. The United States has implemented a similar mandate, requiring that all U.S.-bound travellers show proof they've had the required shots.

Supporters of the convoy at Enfield said they weren't against vaccines or masks but were against public health mandates.

Some of those present called members of the media "scum" and "communists."

As the 10 to 15 trucks present left around 7 a.m. and headed toward their next stop near the New Brunswick border, fireworks were set off while supporters waved and some honked their horns.

When they get to Ottawa they say they plan to stay there until all restrictions are dropped.

The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, which lobbied against the vaccination rules for truckers, has said it does not support the protest.

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