Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veteran James Topp arrived at the National War Memorial in Ottawa Thursday evening, ending his 4000 km march across Canada.
Topp began his march at the Terry Fox Statue in Vancouver on Feb. 20 in protest of federal vaccine mandates. He briefly suspended his march to drive down to Ottawa on Jun. 22 to meet with Members of Parliament.
Topp’s final day of marching began in Ottawa’s Bells Corners neighbourhood, located in the city’s west end. A large group of supporters joined Topp Thursday morning for the start of his march.
The CAF Veteran was also joined by a number of conservative politicians. People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier walked with Topp for the entire day. Ontario Party leader Derek Sloan and Conservative Party leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre also joined Topp.
Topp and his crew first marched from Bells Corners to Hog’s Back Park, where they were met by a large crowd of supporters, many of whom were waving Canadian flags.
After resting for over an hour, they continued their march towards downtown Ottawa.
Topp arrived at the National War Memorial Thursday around 6:15p.m. ET, marking the completion of his monumental 4000km march across Canada.
Upon his arrival, Topp took a knee and put his hand on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for a moment of reflection. He then gave a speech to the large crowd of supporters.
“It’s time to heal. To repair. To reach out with a helping hand,” said Topp.
Topp was also greeted with a large police presence at the War Memorial. Authorities had restricted access to downtown Ottawa, and installed fencing on Parliament Hill and at the Supreme Court ahead of Topp’s arrival and planned Canada Day celebrations. A small group of anti-convoy protesters was also present.
Police also arrested four people. Ottawa Police says an initial investigation found that “an interaction with officers became confrontational and 1 officer was choked.”
The arrival of Topp along with planned Canada Day celebrations are the third major freedom events to take place since the Freedom Convoy was forcefully removed in February after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. Celebrations are expected to take place throughout the weekend and into the summer.