Convoy organizer predicts 30,000 trucks in Ottawa next week

By Geoff Agombar – Local Journalism Initiative
Convoy organizer predicts 30,000 trucks in Ottawa next week
Truckers and supporters raise their fists and hold a banner before a cross-country convoy destined for Ottawa to protest a federal vaccine mandate for truckers departed in Delta, B.C. on Sunday, January 23, 2022. The federal government announced in November that all Canadian truckers looking to cross the border from the United States would need to be vaccinated in order to avoid a 14-day quarantine, a policy that came into effect Jan. 15. (Photo : THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

On Sunday, Jan. 23, truckers gathered in British Colombia, leaving Delta and Prince George, destined for Calgary by nightfall, but aiming for Ottawa by Jan. 29.

Slow-rolling protests are scheduled to join the Freedom Convoy 2022 over the coming days in cities across the country, eventually converging on the nation’s capital from all directions.

Ostensibly inspired by new pandemic restrictions on unvaccinated cross-border truckers, commentary online and in the media makes it clear that the protest is quickly ballooning based frustration against pandemic health measures more generally.

Speaking to CTV Calgary as BC truckers rolled into town, supporter Benita Pedersen predicted as many as 30,000 trucks will have joined before the convoys reach Parliament Hill next weekend.

Last November, Canada and the US announced of changes to Covid testing requirements for 72-hour cross-border travellers. At the same time, both countries announced that exemptions for cross-border trade traffic by essential workers like truckers would be lifted in January.

On Jan. 15, those exemptions were lifted in Canada. Truckers are no longer exempt, so unvaccinated drivers must now present PCR test results to cross the border and quarantine for 14 days after entry.
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