‘Freedom convoy’ of truckers drives through Ontario as Canadians support and condemn COVID-19 vaccine protest


Canadians watched Ontario as the convoy of truckers arrived in the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday, encountering crowds gathering in support of the so-called “freedom convoy.”

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

The convoy is heading to Ottawa to protest the vaccination mandate for truckers crossing the Canada-US border.

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

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

Ontario Provincial Police urges everyone to be “patient and respectful” on the highways with potential impacts from the convoy.

VAUGHAN, ON - JANUARY 27: People line the embankment facing Highway 400 waiting for trucks.  The Freedom Rally crossed the GTA today with a stop at the Vaughan Mills mall parking lot to pick up supplies and be greeted by hundreds of supporters.  The convoy itself appears to be no more than 15-20 trucks with personal vehicles also joining the trips.  CORONAPD Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

VAUGHAN, ON – JANUARY 27: People line the embankment facing Highway 400 waiting for trucks. The Freedom Rally crossed the GTA today with a stop at the Vaughan Mills mall parking lot to pick up supplies and be greeted by hundreds of supporters. The convoy itself appears to be no more than 15-20 trucks with personal vehicles also joining the trips. CORONAPD Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

“The Ontario Provincial Police are asking convoy participants to obey all traffic rules and conduct themselves in a manner that ensures the safety of all road users,” OPP tweeted on Thursday.

“Participants must allow the passage of emergency vehicles and not impede traffic.”

VAUGHAN, ON - JANUARY 27: The Freedom Rally crossed the GTA today with a stop at the Vaughan Mills Mall parking lot to pick up supplies and be greeted by hundreds of supporters.  The convoy itself appears to be no more than 15-20 trucks with personal vehicles also joining the trips.  CORONAPD Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

VAUGHAN, ON – JANUARY 27: The Freedom Rally crossed the GTA today with a stop at the Vaughan Mills Mall parking lot to pick up supplies and be greeted by hundreds of supporters. The convoy itself appears to be no more than 15-20 trucks with personal vehicles also joining the trips. CORONAPD Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The Canadian Trucking Alliance reported that 85% of the 120,000 Canadian truckers who regularly cross the border are vaccinated.

“The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CCA) does not support and strongly disapproves of any demonstrations on public roads, highways and bridges. The ACC believes that such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreements with government policies should be expressed,” read a January 22 statement from the group.

“Members of the trucking industry who wish to publicly express their dissatisfaction with government policies can choose to hold an organized and legal event on Parliament Hill or contact their local MP. What is not acceptable is to disrupt motorists on highways and trade at the border. “

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

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