Nova Scotia has made it illegal to gather alongside the interprovincial highway in support of the Truckers for Freedom Convoy.
The provincial government announced the directive Friday afternoon, claiming that “allowing people to gather in those areas would put themselves and others at risk.”
Although called a “Highway Blockade Ban” on the government’s press release, and is nominally directed towards “prohibiting protesters from blockading Highway 104 near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border,” the ban also covers supporters of trucking convoys.
“The directive also applies to people who stop or gather alongside Highway 104, the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, or at the Cobequid Pass toll area in support of the 2022 Freedom Convoy, the Atlantic Hold the Line event, or others organized to interfere with traffic.”
Another section of the ban goes so far as to prohibit “financing” of such activities. True North reached out to the Nova Scotia government to learn what exactly this meant but received no response by deadline. As of publication time, the GoFundMe for the freedom convoy had reached $7.5 million.
The ban makes no mention of COVID despite being brought in under Nova Scotia’s still-active Emergency Management Act that began in March 2020 as a response to the pandemic.
According to the government, fines for breaking the law “per incident” can reach $10,000 for individuals and $100,000 for corporations.
“I can’t believe they would do that,” Nova Scotia driver and convoy organizer Martin Brodmann told True North on Friday.
Brodmann agreed, however, that with the East Coast fleet of the Freedom Convoy having already made its way into Ontario, it was a little like shutting the barn doors after the horses got out.
Overwhelmed with emotion, Brodmann contrasted Nova Scotia’s decision to ban supporters with his experience in Quebec, saying that thirty police cars had just lined up to give the truckers a send-off into Ontario.
“This whole journey has been such an enjoyment,” he said, adding that the convoy was something “that had to be done.”
All fleets of the Truckers for Freedom Convoy are expected to reach Ottawa Saturday.
Nova Scotia’s “Highway Blockade Ban” will be in place until at least Feb. 6, when the province will reassess and likely extend its state of emergency.
In May 2021, the Nova Scotia government also obtained an injunction cracking down on planned anti-lockdown protests.