A truck convoy protesting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate left the Regina area Tuesday morning before heading east to Winnipeg.
According to the Regina Police Service, an estimated 1,200 semi-trucks were seen driving through the Saskatchewan capital.
Trucks arrived in Headingley, Man., around 2:30 p.m., before leaving for the south Perimeter Highway an hour later.
The protest follows the federal government’s move to mandate vaccines for Canadian truckers crossing the Canada-U.S. border, which went into effect Jan. 15. Those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days.
Despite the support the convoy has received support from Conservative MPs Andrew Scheer and Warren Steinley, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) does not condone this move.
“The Government of Canada and the United States have now made being vaccinated a requirement to cross the border. This regulation is not changing so, as an industry, we must adapt and comply with this mandate,” CTA president Stephen Laskowski said in a press release.
“The only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated.”
The protest has amassed many supporters who are steadfast in their belief of the cause. A GoFundMe started by Tamara Lich in Medicine Hat, Alberta, raised $4.5 million in donations since Jan. 14.
As of Tuesday, the funds were being held by GoFundMe, pending a clear plan plan detailing how the money will be spent.
In a statement, GoFundMe said it’s continuing to work directly with the organizer to gather information about how the funds will be distributed, which it said is standard process to ensure donor protection.
The convoy stalled traffic in Headingley for roughly 300 metres before the Perimeter underpass, with a line of trucks stretching down the Perimeter overpass looking to join the convoy.
A crowd of more than a hundred people were in attendance, cheering with flags and setting up tables stacked with food and drinks.
RCMP were present as well, lights flashing, moving to control the crowd and direct traffic.
The convoy is expected to reach Ottawa — their last stop — later this week.
— with files from The Canadian Press