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Local ‘freedom convoys’ cropping up in the North Okanagan

Convoys in protest of vaccine mandates are being organized in Vernon and Lumby for Saturday
Shuswap residents show their love and support of truckers taking part in the Freedom Convoy that passed through Salmon Arm on its way to Ottawa on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. (Jamie-Lee Smoch/Jamie-Lee Photography)

As B.C. truckers arrive in Ottawa as part of a ‘freedom convoy’ in protest of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border travel, other smaller convoys are being organized in the North Okanagan.

A post shared in a Facebook group called Unify Vernon outlines plans for a convoy following a 12 p.m. protest at Vernon’s Polson Park Saturday, Jan. 29. Another post in the group suggests that protesters from Kamloops could be making their way to Vernon.

“Freedom Kamloops (Facebook group) has been invited to Vernon this Saturday for a mega rally,” the post reads. “Let’s make our own convoy! Get energized, make some noise, show our support!”

Protesters against vaccines, masks and other COVID-19 restrictions have gathered at Polson Park on a regular basis throughout the pandemic.

Then in Lumby, a convoy “in support of those that made it to Ottawa” is being organized, with people invited to join the convoy through town at 1 p.m. Saturday, starting in the industrial area. A poster for the event is captioned with a call to “end all mandates.”

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold voiced his support for the truckers heading to Ottawa on Facebook on Thursday.

“Truckers, like others, are only asking for an opportunity to continue to work as they have, safely, for the past two years without being forced into the Trudeau government’s compliance requirements. There are alternatives and choices, not ultimatums, that should be offered to anyone doing their job to serve their fellow Canadians,” Arnold said.

READ MORE: Trucker protest converging on Canadian capital

READ MORE: GoFundMe says funds for ‘freedom convoy’ of B.C. truckers opposed to vaccine mandates will be ‘safely held’

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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