Now into its second week of protest, the truckers are holding the line in Ottawa's capital district, in Coutts, Alberta on the border with Montana, and expanding into other cities and border crossings across Canada.
For the latest continuing coverage from Frontline News click here
Thursday, Feb 10
The Freedom Convoy releases an inspirational video showing the start of the convoy and encouraging others to join.
Despite the protests in Ottawa, the closure of Canada's busiest border crossing, and significant delays at other crossings, the Ontario and federal governments are not eliminating COVID restrictions.
Ontario Health Minister announced “We have no plans currently to drop the passport vaccination situation or masking. We believe that masking is going to be important for some time to come.”
The federal government is actually expanding the vaccination requirements for truckers traveling between provinces within Canada. Members of the opposition began speaking out against Prime Minister Trudeau's policies today. “Out of personal pride, [the prime minister] is refusing to lift these unjustified and unscientific restrictions. If he did so, then the truckers could go back to work… and everything in Canada could get back on its feet,” said Conservative Party member Pierre Poilievre.
The Detroit-Windsor border crossing has been completely closed for the fourth day. Between 50-75 trucks and about 100 protesters have planted themselves on the Canadian side, preventing traffic from crossing into Canada from the United States via the Ambassador bridge. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the "illegal occupation and blockade happening in Ontario must stop." The border crossing usually sees an average of $323 million of goods crossing daily or about one-third of all trade between the two countries.
In response to the closure, traffic has increased at the Sarnia border crossing. There too, trucker convoys along with farmer convoys have begun protesting the COVID mandates. Over 30 vehicles lined Highway 402 where the OPP closed that section of road to “ensure public safety”.
Truckers also managed to close the border crossing in both directions at Emerson, Manitoba where it meets Pembina, North Dakota, according to an RCMP advisory.
Wednesday, Feb 9
Convoy supporters carry jerrycans through the streets of Ottawa, some filled with gasoline, and many simply empty. Ever since the Ottawa police announced they will be cracking down on those who give “material aid” to the truckers and have since rounded up and seized gas supplies, residents and protesters began walking around with the gas cans as a show of support for the growing freedom protest.
After Alberta Premier Jason Kenny refused to withdraw all the COVID restrictions, and only announced a mere relaxing of regulations, local farmers circumvent the RCMP's blockade to close the border with their farm vehicles. The premier did not completely and permanently remove the COVID regulations, nor did he agree to meet with the truckers currently positioned north of the U.S. border in the small town of Coutts, Alberta. The truckers convoy has been at the border town since the end of January and briefly blocked the U.S. - Canadian border. They have since agreed to remove the full closure and permit one lane of traffic as a goodwill gesture to give the government a chance to repeal the COVID measures.
That gesture was followed by the RCMP barricading the truckers and refusing to allow food, fuel, and supplies through. Despite temperatures of minus 20 degrees celsius, locals brought supplies by foot and on horseback.
Hours after the truckers agreed that the premier's actions were insufficient, and after the RCMP set up another blockade farther north, farm vehicles drove through the fields, around the RCMP blockade, to line up on the highway and close off access to the border.
Tuesday, Feb 8
The busiest border crossing between the U.S. and Canada remains closed for another day according to Canadian Border Services Agency, due to the truckers' protest clogging the Ambassador bridge between Detroit and Windsor.
Joël Lightbound, Member of Parliament from the ruling Liberal Party spoke up against his own government's COVID measures. “We have one of the most vaccinated populations in the world, yet we've never been so divided.” The MP heard from "teachers worried to see kids reenacting in the schoolyard the kind of discrimination and segregation we see in our society, between vaccinated and unvaccinated."
Regarding vaccine mandates at the border, Lighbound cited “The World Health Organization [which] recently recommended dropping or alleviating many border measures including vaccine requirements as they've proven to be ineffective.” He continued by saying, “when this measure took effect the price of transport for fresh products from the United States went up by 15 to 20 percent.”
In conclusion, he said that, “It's time to stop dividing Canadians, to stop pitting one part of the population against another. I can't help but notice, with regret, that both the tone and the policies of my government changed drastically… It's time to stop with the division and the distractions, it's time to choose positive, not coercive methods.”
Rebel News correspondent, Lincoln Jay in an interview on Fox News' Hannity, reports that despite the new police actions of seizing fuel, and the injunction against honking horns, “it's become clear that they [the truckers] aren't going anywhere soon.”
Monday, Feb 7
A new convoy of truckers clogs Ambassador Bridge resulting in the border being closed. The bridge, which connects Windsor and Detroit, is the busiest border crossing in North America, accounting for about one-quarter of all trade between the U.S. and Canada. The Canadian Border Services Agency continues to show the key border crossing as “temporarily closed”.
In solidarity with their Canadian neighbors, hundreds of New Yorkers march on the Brooklyn bridge protesting COVID mandates with both American and Canadian flags
After police seize gas canisters going to the truckers, supporters in Ottawa walk the streets with gas cans as a show of support.
Aerial footage emerges of the convoy holding their position in Coutts, Alberta
Sunday, Feb 6
Chris Sky gave a powerful speech in Ottawa. Standing in front of the Parlament, Chris expressed pride that truckers' convoys all across the world, originated from “docile, friendly and nice” Canadians. Acknowledging the loosening of COVID policies, and mass protests, Chris urged the people to keep up the pressure and not settle for a mere relaxing of the restrictions. “We can not stop there. We gotta keep up the pressure and move into phase three …. holding them [the policy makers] accountable.”
Ottawa Police seize hundreds of jerry cans of fuel going to the truckers.
An Ontario court issued an injunction against the protest in Ottawa prohibiting the constant horn honking for 10 days beginning at midnight.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson requests back up from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford asking for 1,800 more officers to “quell the insurrection” reports the National Post.
Police charge Dave Zegarac with numerous charges including assault with a weapon after driving into a group of protesters in Winnipeg on Friday. Rebel Media reports Zegarac has a history of left-wing statements and affiliations.
Ottawa's mayor declares a state of emergency claiming the protests present a “serious danger and threat to the safety and security of residents.” In an interview with CFRA radio, Mayor Jim Watson said, “The situation at this point is completely out of control because the individuals with the protest are calling the shots. They have far more people than we have police officers."
Dozens of protesters on horseback join the convoy in Coutts, Alberta giving them more maneuverability around the Royal Canadian Mounted Police units that have at times cut supply lines to the convoy. Some have referred to the reinforcements as the Rebel Canadian Mounted Patriots.
The Ottawa convoy holds the line and erected a series of inflatable bouncy castles for everyone to enjoy.
Saturday, Feb 5
Freedom Convoy 2022 sets up a new fundraising campaign with GiveSendGo https://www.givesendgo.com/freedomconvoy2022. Tamara Lich includes a video message inviting supporters to contribute to the convoy, to assist in fuel, food, and possibly lodging.
Quebec City saw a convoy of trucks at the legislative assembly. Thousands of protesters join together with Canadian and Quebec flags flying side by side.
Ottawa Police Services Board chair Diane Deans calls an emergency meeting with just one hour's notice during which she called the situation “a threat to our democracy" and part of a “nationwide insurrection driven by madness.” She said residents were being prevented from opening their businesses and leading their lives. While she could have been referring to the COVID measures, it was clear from the context that she was expressing her opinion of the protests.
In Toronto, the media suggested that truckers were somehow targeting hospitals and their workers. Today the only protest in front of the hospitals was a counter-protest by several dozen masked people including a few healthcare workers.
Police manage to block automobile traffic from reaching the area around the provincial legislature in Toronto, but truckers still had a strong presence and brought the high-end shopping district of Bloor, just two blocks north of the legislature, to a complete standstill.
Vancouver, the city where the first convoy to Ottawa commenced, experienced a parade-like protest, with people lining the streets to cheer.
Friday, Feb 4
At the behest of the Ottawa police, GoFundMe freezes the over 10 million dollars raised to support the convoy, initially wanting to redistribute the funds to other charities, but finally agreeing to refund the contributions to the donors.
The Premier of Alberta Jason Kenny announces an “end” to COVID restrictions starting next week. While acknowledging the regulations' “basic unfairness and injustice” for kids, the premier stopped short of admitting the measures ineffectiveness and injustice for the general population. Instead he further justified them by claiming the measures “has always been about protecting our hospitals.”
The RCMP (Canadian Police) attempts to open the highway in Coutts to more traffic, which actually lead to more trucks joining and reinforcing the convoy according to the CBC.
In Toronto, the seat of the Ontario Legislature, police seal off road access to the legislature. The media, police, and others, claimed that the convoy was attempting to disrupt the nearby hospital district located about half a kilometer from the legislature, even suggesting that hospital workers not wear their uniforms off hospital grounds. Protesters saw this as a continuation of government misinformation to portray the target of the protest as the hospitals and not the Ontario government.
At another protest, in Manitoba's capital city of Winnipeg, a 42-year-old male had "driven through a group of protesters that were part of the Freedom Convoy at the Legislative grounds." “… Witnesses reported [the Jeep] traveling at high speeds and passing through red lights,” according to the police reports. The driver was arrested and is facing 11 charges. The incident was captured on a dashcam of a truck and can be viewed here. Media reports of the incident reserved judgment as to the motivation.