Canadian 'Freedom' Truckers Protest Vaccines As 90 Percent of Drivers Vaccinated

Canadian truck drivers are protesting vaccine mandates on the trucking industry in a massive, cross-country convoy as the majority of the industry's workforce are vaccinated.

The Freedom Convoy left Vancouver on Sunday and is set to arrive in Ottawa on Saturday for a rally protesting vaccine mandates imposed by the federal government earlier this month.

However, despite the fact that convoy is 70 km long, according to a Freedom Convoy spokesperson, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimates that only 10 percent of the country's truckers remain unvaccinated.

The protest, organized by anti-mandate group Canada Unity, was planned after the federal government refused to back down on a new vaccination rule for cross-border truckers, who were previously exempt from vaccine mandates because they were considered essential to the supply chain.

The CTA estimated that the mandate would take 12,000 Canadian cross-border commercial truckers off the road when it went into effect on January 15.

Some reports say the convoy could potentially break a world record for the longest convey, surpassing a nearly 5-mile long parade of trucks that took place in Cario, Egypt in November 2020 and currently holds the Guinness World Record.

While some allege that as many as 50,000 trucks are participating, the Kingston Police in Ottawa disputed the claim in a midday update on Friday, saying that only 121 trucks were present.

According to the police department's count, there were 121 trucks, 421 passenger vehicles and six RVs.

Freedom Convoy Truck Drivers Canada Vaccine Mandate
The CTA estimated that the mandate would take 12,000 Canadian cross-border commercial truckers off the road when it went into effect on January 15. Supporters for a convoy of truckers driving from British Columbia to Ottawa in protest of a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers, gather near a highway overpass outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on January 27, 2022 Cole Burston/AFP

This week, the Freedom Convoy has garnered national attention as hundreds of Canadians gathered to watch the trucks drive through the country. Various cities have prepared for traffic delays as the convoy travelled across five provinces.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has maintained that the participants of the protest merely a "small fringe minority who are on the way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views."

When the convoy arrives in Ottawa on Saturday, Trudeau will still be completing a five-day quarantine that was triggered after he had a potential exposure on Wednesday night.

The CTA has also spoken out against the protest, saying it "does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways and bridges."

"CTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreement with government policies should be expressed," the group said in a statement last week. "Members of the trucking industry who want to publicly express displeasure over government policies can choose to hold an organized, lawful event on Parliament Hill and not disrupt the travelling public."

While the federal government and trade groups have criticized the protest, the Freedom Convoy has also attracted a number of supporters, including podcast host Joe Rogan, Marvel actress Evangeline Lilly and several Canadian politicians.

A GoFundMe campaign organized by Tamara Lich, who has ties to the Maverick Party, has raised more than $7 million for fuel, food and shelter costs of the truckers.

"We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, and now it seems it is happening here," the fundraiser reads. "We are taking our fight to the doorsteps of our Federal Government and demanding that they cease all mandates against its people."