Ontario Provincial Police are urging drivers to be patient today as a large convoy of truckers heading to Ottawa to protest COVID-19 mandates is set to enter the Toronto area.
OPP say the convoy, which started in British Columbia, is expected to be coming through the region until Saturday — the day of the so-called “freedom rally” on Parliament Hill.
Police spokesman Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says vehicles of all sizes will be coming from across the province.
He says drivers should prepare for delays on Toronto-area highways, including Highway 401, Highway 400 and the Queen Elizabeth Way.
Police in Ottawa have said they are planning for as many as 2,000 demonstrators, and while protest leaders have been co-operative, there are concerns that far-right extremist groups that have attached themselves to the convoy could spark violence.
The federal government ended truckers’ exemption to the vaccine mandate on Jan. 15, meaning Canadian truck drivers need to be fully vaccinated if they want to avoid a two-week quarantine when they cross into Canada from the United States.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which has denounced the convoy protest, estimates that roughly 15 per cent of truckers — up to 16,000 — are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.