Truckers convoy leaving for Kingston en route to Ottawa

Transport trucks parked in a row. (Photo from Pxhere)

The convoy of truckers protesting a COVID-19 vaccine mandate will move out of Southwestern Ontario on Thursday morning.

The self-described “Freedom Convoy” will make its way from Windsor to Kingston before heading to Parliament Hill in Ottawa Friday.

A protest is planned for Saturday on Parliament Hill.

The vaccine mandate went into effect for cross-border truckers in Canada on January 15. A similar rule went into effect for truckers in the U.S. on January 22. Truck drivers crossing the border into Canada need to be fully vaccinated to avoid testing and quarantine requirements.

According to The Canadian Trucking Alliance, vaccination rates among truck drivers mirror the general public, but some 12,000 still haven’t gotten their shots.

On its website, the alliance said it did not support the protest because it is “not how disagreement with government policies should be expressed.”

So far, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has resisted calls from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition to delay the mandate or reverse it altogether.

Departure times along Hwy. 401 have changed but according to the website Action 4 Canada, it is expected to make numerous stops along Hwy. 401.

Provincial police are telling motorists on the highway to expect delays.

Truck drivers expect to arrive in Kingston by 5 p.m. on Thursday.

The protest on Parliament Hill is expected to attract truckers from across Canada.

A GoFundMe campaign raised $5.3-million before the company froze it until it can complete an investigation into how the money will be spent. Organizers said it would help truck drivers pay for fuel, lodging, and food along the way.