Several of Canada’s largest cities are expected to see a new wave of protests this weekend as calls to end vaccine mandates and other COVID restrictions sweep the country.
In addition to people returning to support the Truckers for Freedom Convoy which arrived in Ottawa last week, protests are also planned in cities including Toronto, Quebec City and Calgary.
While some of the protests will involve truckers, others will be stand-up demonstrations against the erosion of freedoms under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Ottawa Police are expecting numbers to swell on Parliament Hill this weekend as the city hosts another bout of demonstrations. Last weekend, tens of thousands showed up for the peaceful protest, and many trucks that arrived with the original convoy still remain parked throughout the national capital.
Truckers and their supporters in Toronto will be launching a Truckers for Freedom Convoy demonstration on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. in front of Queen’s Park. Other protests are also planned throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
Quebecers plan on showing up at the National Assembly beginning on Thursday to stand in solidarity with the truckers in Ottawa. The protest will be happening alongside the city’s winter festival which begins on Friday. Protest organizers have stated that their activities will not prevent access to the carnival.
A trucker convoy is expected to arrive in Calgary on Saturday in support of ongoing blockades at the Coutts, Alberta border crossing. Again, demonstrators are calling for an end to COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates.
“We want the mandates gone,” said organizer Diane Inkin. “Let us get back to our lives, and the sooner the government steps up and does that, the sooner this will just go away.”
A Truckers for Freedom Convoy protest is scheduled to begin in Victoria at 6:45 a.m. this Saturday. It follows a similar demonstration last week, which saw former Newfoundland premier Brian Peckford speak to thousands about the importance of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and how it is being eroded by public health measures.
Truckers will be heading south from Campbell River on Vancouver Island and gathering numbers until they reach Victoria. Motorists are encouraged to join in. A gathering is expected to take place in front of B.C.’s legislature on the same day.
Winnipeg is aware of a convoy protest arriving at the province’s legislative buildings beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. Organizers are working with the police to ensure the demonstration is peaceful.
Protestors will arrive at Saskatchewan’s legislature Saturday in Regina. Truckers are hoping to occupy the park and are calling for the Saskatchewan government to remove all COVID-19 mandates immediately rather than at the end of the month. A counter-group of protestors opposed to the freedom movement is also expected to show up.