Massive protests against mandatory vaccination throughout Canada
The convoy, driven by a group of truckers and their supporters opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, worked its way through Saskatchewan and Manitoba on Tuesday, and is now heading for Toronto.
Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the “Freedom Rally” and what are they protesting against?
Starting Jan. 15, the federal government has required Canadian truckers to be fully vaccinated if they want to avoid a 14-day quarantine when they cross into Canada from the United States.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign national drivers will be directed back to the U.S.
Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan has also announced that vaccination will become mandatory for workers in all federally regulated industries, though no timeline has been set.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which has denounced the convoy protest, says more than 85 per cent of the 120,000 Canadian truck drivers who regularly travel across the Canada-U.S. border are vaccinated, but that as many as 16,000 may be sidelined due to the new restriction.
Several industry and business groups have been lobbying hard against the new rule, including the country’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. CFIB president Dan Kelly argued Wednesday that the vaccine mandate is creating supply shortages and driving up shipping costs.