Highway 417 south of Vankleek Hill will be a gathering point for truckers from Québec and across Canada this Saturday, January 29, before they head to Ottawa for the Freedom Rally 2022 protest against the federal vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers.

Herb’s Travel Plaza, at the intersection of highways 417 and 34, will be where truckers who are part of the Québec chapter of the convoy meet on January 29, at 10:30 a.m. Rigs are coming from the Montréal area via Autoroute 40 and Highway 417, and from St-Jérôme via Autoroute 50 and Highway 34, and then continuing west to Ottawa. Organizers are inviting members of the public to follow along in cars, trucks, or even four-wheelers and join the convoy, even part way.

The event is being held in protest of a federal government mandate for cross-border truckers that went into effect on January 15. Under the mandate, Canadian truckers must be fully vaccinated, or face a two-week quarantine and pre-arrival molecular test for COVID-19 before crossing into Canada. The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and the American Trucking Association (ATA) say as many as 26,000 drivers who make regular trips across the border between the two countries may be sidelined by the mandate.

The CTA however, released a statement over the weekend which strongly disapproved of the convoy. The federation of Canadian carriers, owner-operators and industry suppliers said members should instead hold an organized protest on Parliament Hill, rather than disrupt public roadways for more than a week. The CTA says vaccination rates among its members are similar to the general public.

Truck drivers set out on Sunday, January 23, from various points across the country to arrive in Ottawa on January 29. While the exact number of trucks expected on Parliament Hill is still unknown, the protest has received considerable attention on social media.

Organizers have set up an online fundraiser to raise money in support of the protest. The page had raised $3.3 million of its $4 million goal as of Monday, January 24.