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‘Slow-roll’ protest planned by Quebec truckers against COVID-19 vaccination mandate

A nationwide protest is planned against the federal government's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truck drivers. File / Global News

A growing number of truck drivers plan on disrupting and blocking circulation on Quebec roads to protest the federal government’s latest vaccine mandate imposed on the trucking industry.

From coast to coast, truck drivers against COVID-19 vaccination regulations have gathered under the pan-Canadian banner ‘Convoy for Freedom 2022.’

Read more: COVID-19 vaccines still mandatory for Canadian cross-border truckers, feds say

Thousands of truck drivers plan to slowly converge and meet on Parliament Hill on Jan. 28.

The spokesperson for the Quebec continent, Joanie Pelchat, says the province’s convoy will begin at Canada-U.S. border crossings.

The drivers behind the cause plan to drive below the speed limit, or “slow-roll,” to denounce what they describe as an unfair practice, Pelchat said.

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As of Saturday, unvaccinated foreign national truck drivers are no longer allowed to cross the border into Canada. Canadian truck drivers still have a right of return, but must test and isolate for 14 days.

The U.S. will also tighten its border restrictions this coming Saturday.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance says 10 to 15 per cent of drivers in the industry are currently unvaccinated.

The mandate would therefore take an estimated 12,000 Canadian truckers and thousands more from the U.S. off cross-border shipping routes.

More than two-thirds of the $650 billion in goods traded annually between Canada and the United States travels on roads.

Read more: Crossing delayed Monday at Manitoba-U.S. border as truckers protest vaccine mandate

The online fundraising page for the national event has already raised close to $580,000. The goal is to reach $700,00.

Donations, according to the online posting, will go towards the costs of fuel, food and lodging to help ease the pressures of “this arduous task.”

“It’s a small price to pay for our freedoms. We thank you all for your Donations and know that you are helping reshape this once beautiful country back to the way it was,” the post reads.

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Read more: COVID-19 vaccines for truck drivers ‘right thing to do,’ Duclos says as mandate kicks in

Protests have already erupted across the country.

On Monday, drivers of 18-wheelers snarled border traffic in Manitoba for several hours, inconveniencing motorists.

The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) says it is aware of the upcoming event and is monitoring the situation, according to Marythe Bolduc, spokesperson for the provincial police.

Bolduc warns all who voluntarily disrupt traffic are in violation of the traffic safety code and could face hefty fines.

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