‘Prepare for the worst’: Anti-hate groups warn downtown residents before the arrival of truck convoy


The convoy, ‘BearHug B.C.’ is expected to arrive in Victoria on March 14 and anti-hate groups are advising the city to prepare for the worst.

“We’re going to be occupying that area for two to three months. This is a very intense deeply rooted NDP/Liberal stronghold down there, and they’ve had their way for too long,” said James Bauder, founder of Canada Unity and one of the organizers of Freedom Convoy 2022.

The Canadian Anti-Hate Network, a non-profit that monitors hate groups, far-right groups, and hate crimes in Canada says government and police need to pay attention and not take what James Bauder says at “face level”.

“We gotta have conversations around you know, what if the worst case scenarios happen? How do we prevent it from becoming another Ottawa?” says Evan Balgord, the executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network.

Despite the lifting of mask mandates beginning Friday and soon, vaccine passports, the network says that’s not all these protestors want gone.

“They’re looking to overthrow the government,” adds Balgord.

The group says more enforcement is needed and they aren’t the only ones worried that a similar situation to Ottawa may unfold.

“We recognize the right for peaceful protest but a lot of what’s been happening hasn’t been peaceful,” says Doug Boyd with the Victoria Downtown Residents Association.

For the past several weeks their team has heard numerous complaints about noise and now the occupation of property.

In a letter to mayor and council the association wrote, “Residents of the Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods should not have their right to peaceful enjoyment of their city taken away by a self-appointed rabble who have no respect for the rights of the majority of our citizens. Nor should our residents be subjected to the incessant noise that has been characteristic of past convoy protests.”

Thursday in council, the Victoria Police say they have heard the concerns and are well aware of what’s on it’s way.

“The Victoria Police Department is monitoring intelligence and is preparing an operations plan for any eventuality that may come to the City o Victoria,” says Victoria Police Chief Del Manak, adding any dangerous acts or unlawful activity will be met with de-escalation and enforcement.

Hannah LepineHannah Lepine

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