A large trucking fleet raises $ 1.3 million to fuel vaccination protests to Ottawa


“Thousands of us park trucks in the Capitol as long as we need them,” says the organizer.

Vancouver — After raising $ 1.3 million in a week, a large group of truck drivers roll around the country to camp in the Canadian capital until the federal COVID-19 vaccine obligations on truck drivers are lifted. I am.

Freedom Convoy 2022 will depart from the West Coast on January 23 and head from British Columbia to Ottawa.Truck drivers from all states are planning to join under a group called Canada Unity And on January 29th, we will form a large-scale demonstration against the mission in the capital.

“Thousands of people will park trucks on Parliamentary Hill until these vaccines are lifted,” chief organizer Tamara Rich told The Epoch Times.

Rich, who works in Alberta’s oil and gas industry, has her and a few truck driver friends. GoFundMe Campaign On January 14, she did not expect the support they received.

“It was overwhelming,” Lich said. “I see Canadians gathering like I’ve never seen before.”

The campaign raised $ 1,299,477 as of the morning of January 22nd.

Epoch Times Photo
Tamara Lich, the organizer of Freedom Convoy 2022. (Distribution material)

The industry is already suffering from a shortage of drivers, the country is tackling supply chain turmoil, 30-year high inflation rate..

Under a federal government order that came into effect on January 15, all truck drivers entering Canada must be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated Canadian drivers must be tested and quarantined upon entry, and non-Canadian drivers are prohibited from entering the country.

Lich says he knows many people in the industry who have been affected by the mandatory vaccines. The group’s goal is to require the federal government not only to terminate its vaccination obligations for truck drivers, but also to terminate all other COVID-19 obligations in the country.

“Small businesses have been destroyed, homes have been destroyed, people have been abused, and the basic necessities of survival have been denied,” reads the GoFundMe campaign page.

Lich estimates that about 2,000 truck drivers will join the convoy from western Canada. The starting points of the other two convoys are different. The South Route departs from Windsor, Ontario on January 27, and the East Route departs to Enfield, Nova Scotia on the same day.

“Peak of supply chain constraints”

According to a post on the website, federal vaccine obligations could result in the loss of 12,000 to 16,000 cross-border commercial drivers. Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau upheld his government’s decision to proceed with vaccination against truck drivers, despite rising prices and imminent shortages of products.

Trudeau said in Press conference In Ottawa on January 19, truck drivers knew for months that a mission would come, and the United States would soon implement “same” measures. The U.S. government On January 20, it announced that it would begin its own vaccination obligations on January 22 to ensure that all non-American truck drivers entering the United States are vaccinated.

“We are working with them,” Trudeau said.

Epoch Times Photo
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hear Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos speak at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on January 5, 2022. (Canada Press / Justin Tan)

A Transport Canada spokesman told the Epoch Times that a pandemic is one of the biggest threats to Canada’s supply chain and that vaccination is the best tool to stop COVID-19.

“This is why the Government of Canada continues to take action to ensure that as many Canadians as possible are vaccinated,” a spokesman said in an email.

Transport Canada will continue to work with the truck industry to ensure awareness of new requirements to minimize adverse effects on the workforce and supply chain.

However, Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenny has called on the government to extend the exemptions that have been applied to truck drivers since the pandemic began.

“Common sense tells us that we are at the peak of supply chain constraints across North America and around the world, and in huge inflation,” Kenny said. Press conference In Calgary on January 20th.

Rich argues that there is no common sense in mandating vaccines, as the majority of truck drivers drive alone with little public contact. She says that even vaccinated truck drivers support the protest.

According to Lich, truck driver protest groups are planning to cause road blockages at major border crossings in Ottawa and the United States. She says some Canadian and American truck drivers will work together to block entry into solidarity and raise awareness of protests on both sides of the border.

“I don’t think Trudeau is aware of this, but both Congress and the border will stop badly,” she said.

However, she emphasized that all protests would be peaceful.

The CTA has accused protests of vaccination obligations on the US-Canada border, or on public roads, highways, and bridges.

“Truck industry members who want to openly complain about government policy can choose to hold legitimate events organized on Parliamentary Hill, not confusing travelers,” the CTA said. statement..

On January 19, a group of truck drivers protested a mandate at the US-Manitoba border, blocking highways and delaying traffic.

Jared Gnam

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Jared Gnam is a Vancouver-based reporter.