OTTAWA: A "Freedom Convoy" of long-haul drivers is set to arrive in Ottawa by Saturday to protest the Canadian government's mandate that all cross-border critical employees, including truckers, present proof of vaccination at a port of entry.
According reports, the truckers have been crossing Canada for the past week and have transformed into a group that believes any government action threatens their freedom of movement or choice.
Some far-right groups have surfaced, comparing the vaccine mandate to the Holocaust and threatening murder, notably against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is currently undergoing a five-day quarantine after coming into touch with someone who tested positive for Covid-19.
Trudeau said at a news conference on Wednesday that nearly 90% of truckers in Canada had been vaccinated against Covid-19, and that "the small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, or who are holding unacceptable views that they're expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other, who know that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our responsibilities." On Saturday, up to 10,000 protesters are expected to gather on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, where the House of Commons' head of security has warned Members of Parliament (MPs) to be vigilant, particularly about the risk of doxing, in which personal information such as their home addresses in Ottawa could be published online.