Convoy opposing trucker vaccine mandate rolls through Regina
A convoy of trucks protesting the federal government’s cross-border travel vaccine mandate rolled through Regina on Monday evening.
‘Freedom Convoy 2022’ opposes the rules implemented on Jan. 15, requiring proof of vaccination for truckers coming into Canada.
Under the rules, Canadian truckers who are not fully vaccinated will have to show proof of a negative PCR test collected within 72 hours of arriving at the border and will need to quarantine after arrival, while unvaccinated American drivers will be denied entry.
Supporters lined the Regina Bypass as hundreds of semi-trucks and other vehicles made their way through the Queen City around 9 p.m. Monday.
Regina trucker Earl Purdy joined the convoy to voice his concerns about COVID-19 mandates.
“We were supposed to be essential, but we’re nothing right now,” Purdy said, in an interview Monday night.
Supporters cheer on a passing semi-truck on the Regina bypass around 9 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2022. (Gareth Dillistone/CTV News)
Regina-Lewvan MP Warren Steinley was also out on the bypass to support the protest.
“Why now? What has changed? Show some data that this vaccine mandate will protect Canadians more. Is there any data points that show that truckers are affecting COVID-19,” Steinley said, in an interview with CTV News.
“Show us the data that this mandate for truckers is necessary, and we’ve seen nothing so far.”
However, the prime minister is standing by the border rules and the federal government’s COVID-19 response.
“I regret that the Conservative Party and the Conservative politicians are fear mongering to Canadians about the supply chain but the reality is that vaccination is how we are going to get through this,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, during a press conference Monday.
Lines of vehicles waited along the side of the highway to cheer on or join the convoy in Regina. (Gareth Dillistone/CTV News)
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spoke out against the mandate during a press conference Monday, calling it “unnecessary” for the trucking industry.
“These are the folks that are delivering our products, our food in many cases to our communities in Saskatchewan and in Canada,” Moe said.
“They have operated safely throughout this pandemic long before we had access to vaccines, long before we had many of the tools that are proven to be helpful and effective in our battle against the Omicron wave.”
The convoy continued on out of Regina headed eastbound on Highway 1.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) issued a statement on Saturday, saying it does not support the protests.
“The vast majority of the Canadian trucking industry is vaccinated with the overall industry vaccination rate among truck drivers closely mirroring that of the general public,” the CTA said in its statement.
“Accordingly, most of our nation’s hard-working truck drivers are continuing to move cross-border and domestic freight to ensure our economy continues to function.”
The Saskatchewan Trucking Association deferred to the national alliance’s statement, when asked for comment on the protests.
With files from CTVNews.ca and CTV News Calgary
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