Thousands of truckers are driving to the Canadian capital to protest federal vaccine mandates some say are 'destroying' their businesses
- Several convoys of truckers are driving to the Canadian capital to protest the country's vaccine mandate.
- The protest is part of an effort called Freedom Convoy which has raised over $5.2 million Canadian dollars.
Thousands of truckers have been driving to the Canadian capital since Sunday in protest of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers.
Multiple convoys of truckers across Canada are headed to Ottawa with plans to converge at Parliament Hill for a rally on Saturday against vaccination requirements. The Freedom Convoy, the group that organized the protest, wrote on its GoFundMe page that it believes the government is "implementing rules and mandates that are destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries, and livelihoods."
As of Wednesday, The Freedom Convoy has raised more than $5.2 million Canadian dollars ($4.1 million US) and gathered over 67,000 donations. However, GoFundMe said on Tuesday that it has frozen the funds until organizers of the effort can provide a detailed spending plan, per their fundraising policies, according to a report from a Vancouver news station.
Canada's vaccine mandate for truckers was imposed on January 15. The new rules require US truckers to present proof of vaccination in order to cross the border, while Canadian truckers without a vaccine passport are required to quarantine and take a COVID-19 test when they reenter from the US. The US imposed a similar mandate on January 22.
Though the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) — a group that represents over 4,500 carriers in the country — has denounced the protest, it previously called for the US and Canadian government to delay the vaccine mandate on the basis that it could impact upwards of 15% of truckers, or about 16,000 unvaccinated Canadian drivers.
Insider previously reported that the mandate could exacerbate shortages and price hikes in both the US and Canada. Eighty percent of trade between the US and Canada moves by truck, and Canada accounts for one of the US's largest export markets. Trade between the two countries totaled over $600 billion in 2019.
James Ward, president of Truckload Carriers Association, previously told Insider that he believed the vaccine mandates in both countries would worsen the shortage of truck drivers and make it more difficult to bring in new ones, while adding to longer wait times at the border.
Several YouTube videos show supporters gathering along the Trans-Canada Highway in Saskatchewan on Monday night to support the truckers. Saskatchewan police reported a convoy of over 1,000 trucks headed for the capital on Tuesday, according to FreightWaves.
Local Vancouver news reported that several Conservative members of Parliament in Canada gathered along the highway to support the truckers, after other party members warned the mandate could worsen the supply-chain crisis.
—Jason Kenney (@jkenney) January 24, 2022
In a press conference on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Conservative Party members are "fearmongering."
"Almost 90% of truckers in Canada are already vaccinated, and the best way to continue to prevent supply chain disruptions is to ensure that everyone gets vaccinated," Trudeau said.
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