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Truckers to converge on Ottawa for protest against vaccine mandates

Truckers to converge on Ottawa for protest against vaccine mandates
Trucks are converging on Ottawa to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other restrictions, nearly two years after trucks were backed up on the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit with Windsor, Ontario, pictured, when borders were closed amid the then-burgeoning pandemic. File Photo Steve Fecht/EPA-EFE

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Truckers are expected to converge on the Canadian capital of Ottawa Friday to protest vaccine mandates and other coronavirus restrictions.

Several truck convoys are expected to arrive Saturday morning where they are believed to make their way to Parliament Hill.

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Canada in January started requiring that all truck drivers entering Canada from the United States be fully vaccinated or be quarantined for 14 days.

Some truckers are calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to drop all public health measures along with the vaccine mandates.

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"There are 500 trucks that crossed the border into Ontario from the west," truck stop owner Tom Orr told the Ottawa Citizen.

"I don't believe they'll all get here. You know, it's expensive. It's $2,000 to drive a truck from [British Columbia] to Antrim, and along the way they might lose a little momentum and someone will come along and say, 'Hey I've got a real job for you. Go and hook on a trailer and go to work,'" he said.

Orr said he estimates about 150 from North Bay will join another 200 or 300 trucks in Ottawa.

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The original trucking convoy protest started in British Columbia but other convoys are expected to arrive from the east of Ottawa as well.

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Trudeau has tried to dismiss the protests as "fringe" and that they do not reflect the feeling of average Canadians.

Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, told CTV News he was worried the convoy's original protest issues have started to shift as it has gone on.

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"Our organization's become very concerned about some of the rhetoric we've heard, hearing racist remarks comparing (the mandate) to Nazis and communism -- things that are not comparable to what's going on right now," Millian said.

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