Dozens of people gathered along Highway 17 in Deep River Friday evening to cheer and wave as trucks belonging to the “Freedom Convoy 2022” passed through town.
Originally due between 3-4 pm, the big trucks rolled through town in at least two waves, at about 6 and 6:20 pm.
The convoy was continuing on to Pembroke and Arnprior Friday night before entering Ottawa Saturday to protest at Parliament Hill.
The convoy was launched to protest the federal government’s mandate requiring truck drivers who cross the US border to provide proof of vaccination.
MP Cheryl Gallant said earlier Friday that she looked forward to meeting the convoy at the Irving Big Stop in Pembroke and that she supports “all our local Ottawa Valley truckers, together with those from across Canada, and continue to support every Canadian’s right to peacefully and lawfully protest.”
However, the Canadian Trucking Alliance, a federation of provincial trucking associations, has said that it does not support and “strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges.”
“CTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreements with government policies should be expressed,” the organization said in a statement.
“Members of the trucking industry who want to publicly express displeasure over government policies can choose to hold an organized, lawful event on Parliament Hill or contact their local MP. What is not acceptable is disrupting the motoring public on highways and commerce at the border.”
“The government of Canada and the United States have now made being vaccinated a requirement to cross the border. This regulation is not changing so, as an industry, we must adapt and comply with this mandate,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski.
“The only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated.”
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