R-C-M-P are reminding motorists that there could be lengthy traffic delays Tuesday afternoon in the area of the Trans Canada Highway east of Winnipeg.
That is because of Freedom Convoy 2022, which is expected to bring hundreds of trucks through Manitoba on their way to Parliament Hill. Freedom Convoy 2022 was organized as a way for trucking companies, truck drivers and Canadians to take a position against mandatory vaccines for truck drivers. As of January 15th, Canada requires truck drivers to be fully vaccinated if they want to avoid a 14 day quarantine before crossing into our country. The convoy started on January 22nd in British Columbia and is expected to end on January 29th in Ottawa.
Tara Seel with Manitoba RCMP says the convoy rolled into Manitoba earlier today. She notes her office has so far heard no reports of issues involving traffic congestion. However, that is expected to change as the trucks get closer to Winnipeg.
For that reason, she is asking that if motorists can avoid the Headingley area between 2:30 and 3:30 pm to please do so. She has a similar request for those on the east side of Winnipeg when the convoy rolls past the Centre of Canada at approximately 4:30 pm.
"Anyone that's planning on being on the south perimeter and the Trans Canada Highway east of the city of Winnipeg, just again be aware that there is going to be a large increase in the amount of traffic and if you can find an alternate route that might be advisable to save yourself some time."
Seel says at this point there are no plans to barricade any roads or intersections. However, due to the number of vehicles that make up this convoy and the great distance the convoy spans, she says it is entirely possible that motorists might wait 30 to 45 minutes at some intersections before being able to safely cross the highway.
For those motorists who are part of the convoy, Seel asks them to pay attention to the police officers on scene, noting they are trying to assist in the smooth movement of traffic.
"The officers aren't there to impede anybody at all or stop anyone from having their say," says Seel. "We just want to make sure again that the roadways are safe for everyone using them."