'Freedom Convoy' truckers greeted by cheers in Medicine Hat as fundraiser surpasses $4 million

Published Jan. 24, 2022 7:41 p.m. ET
Updated Jan. 25, 2022 4:10 p.m. ET

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The truckers left British Columbia on the weekend on a cross-country journey to protest federal vaccination mandates faced by truckers crossing the border who otherwise face lengthy quarantine periods when they return to Canada.

LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. -- As hundreds of truckers arrived at a truck stop just outside of Medicine Hat Monday, a crowd gathered to show their support for the drivers on their way to Ottawa as part of Freedom Convoy 2022.

The truckers left British Columbia on the weekend on a cross-country journey to protest federal vaccination mandates faced by truckers crossing the border who otherwise face lengthy quarantine periods when they return to Canada.

The same rules are being applied in the United States, but supporters here focused their anger on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“We’re done with the mandates, we’re tired of it, there’re other countries that are moving past it, and I think it’s time here, " said Chris Barber a truck driver in an interview with CTV News.

"People are tired of it (vaccine mandates)," he added. "Canada wants to rally around something, and I think they finally found something to rally around.”

At the moment 46,000 people have donated more than $4 million to a crowdfunding effort started by a Medicine Hat woman. However, it’s not clear how the money will be distributed to cover fuel cost, food, and lodging of the drivers.

On Tuesday, GoFundMe froze access to the money.

 The independent MLA who represents the riding warned of dire economic consequences if the rule isn't changed.

“You know, our supply chain is jeopardized, inflation is through the roof, and Alberta families and communities are hurting, and people are demanding change, so who knows when we’re going to get to the tipping point when our government actually becomes responsive and listen to the people, but this may be it, so I’m grateful for this,” said Drew Barnes Medicine Hat MLA.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which represents carriers and suppliers, condemned the protests, saying such demonstrations aren’t an effective way of resisting the policy.

“I’m watching our freedoms being taken away every day, and I just want them to have the choice” added another supporter.

With files by Jayden Wasney


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