In response to the Canadian Prime Minister blocking unvaccinated truckers from Canada, thousands of angry drivers are currently heading to the country’s capital city to “take the fight” to Trudeau’s doorstep. At the time of writing, the group has raised just below $4 million to cover gas and lodging. Trudeau and his allies announced their displeasure at the news of the upcoming protest and blockade, with Gerald Butts smearing the movement as being “separatist.”
Both Justin Trudeau and his counterpart Joe Biden in the U.S. have imposed strict mandates on commercial truckers. As the new vaccine mandates go into effect in Canada and the U.S., roughly 26,000 of the 160,000 drivers who regularly cross the Canada-U.S. border will be sidelined, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the American Trucking Associations.
A large group of truckers plans on driving from Vancouver to Ottawa starting Sunday Jan. 23, with an expected arrival in Canada’s capital on Jan. 28. Thousands of truckers are expected to be in attendance, with organizers stating they will block access to the city and to the Parliament. Supporters of the movement were abundant on social media, with the hashtag #TruckersforFreedom trending on and off on Twitter. Rick Fournier, a steamfitter based out of Regina showed his support for the protests, claiming it is time to “take back Canada!”
Naturally, not everyone was pleased at the news of a large truck convoy heading to the nation’s capital. Trudeau’s former secretary Gerald Butts described the fundraiser as being lead by an Alberta “separatist.” Butts then asked, “where will the money go?” While it is true that the fundraiser organizer Tamara Lich was formerly involved with Wexit, there is no indication the money will used for anything except reimbursing the costs incurred by truckers.
It is notable that Butts has made a number of controversial comments online. In the summer, Butts stated that burning churches was “understandable,” leading to widespread condemnation from conservatives. Butts’ comments were slammed by columnist Spencer Fernando, who penned a piece titled, “Gerald Butts’ Tweet Implying Burning Down Churches ‘May Be Understandable’ Shows How The Elites Would Rather Foment Discord Than Bring People Together To Solve Problems.”
The protest is expected to be peaceful, however, more extreme figures with a history of violence have shown interest in the movement. Jeremy Mackenzie, a neo-Nazi with a long rap sheet, has also added his support for the protest. Mackenzie has previously made numerous overtly hateful comments towards Jewish people. He has also advocated for murdering journalists. Supporters of the group are warning others to distance themselves from characters like Mackenzie and other potential provocateurs.
UPDATE: The article was updated on Jan. 24 to reflect the increased donations on GoFundMe. Learn more about our editorial standards.
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