Thousands Join Rallies Against Coronavirus Restrictions Across Canada as Trucker Protests Spread

Trucks and supporters travel down Bloor Street during a demonstration in support of a trucker convoy in Ottawa on Saturday, February 5, 2022. (Nathan Denette/AP)

From the western province of Alberta, moving east to Quebec City, and in cities and towns in between, thousands of Canadians have hit the streets in trucks, tractors, cars and on foot to protest the nation’s Covid-19 restrictions.

With persistent and noisy horn honking, protesters are demanding governments at all levels lift their health restrictions, including vaccine and mask mandates, lockdowns and restrictions on businesses and gatherings.

“The whole event has gone beyond just vaccines and it is now about the entire ordeal,” protester James MacDonald told CNN, adding he’s been in Ottawa since last weekend and has no intention of leaving until health measures are dropped.

The “Freedom Convoy” was initially started by truckers protesting a recent mandate requiring drivers entering Canada to be fully vaccinated or face testing and quarantine requirements. But others have joined the cause. Demonstrators reached Ottawa, Canada’s capital, last weekend, and its organizers said the protests will linger there and elsewhere if necessary.

Ottawa’s police chief called it a “nationwide insurrection driven by madness,” claiming his city was under siege and would need more reinforcements beyond those it had already received from other police forces.

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SOURCE: CNN, Paula Newton