Voices of the freedom convoy in Ottawa
The freedom convoy slowly rolled into Ottawa on Friday, as truckers and their supporters protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other public health requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're seeing a whole country united," said one person on Parliament Hill Friday afternoon.
CTV News Ottawa speaks with some of the people involved in the freedom convoy, supporters of the convoy and Ottawa businesses during the freedom convoy rally in Ottawa.
"My body, my choice. I want freedom to do what I want with my body. It's not my employer's job to tell me what to do with my body and it's not my government's job to tell me what to do with my body," said one woman, who said she was a nurse, on Parliament Hill Saturday morning.
"To remove the stupid restrictions. Some are good, but some are too much," said one man about his reason for attending the demonstration.
"Make them hear our voice. We want our country back," said a man on Parliament Hill Saturday morning. "No more lockdowns, no more mandates, kids back to school, nurses back to hospitals, give us back our lives."
"We're fighting for our freedom and liberty, that's what Canada stands for," said an unidentified man. "It's a real shame that they're stripping this little by little."
Colleen Houghton, supporter
"We are here because we oppose the mandates … it's not going to work and it's taking away our freedoms," said Houghton.
"People around the world are looking at us right now and we are doing something that has never been done before and it’s great."
Dan Berkhout, supporter
"I’m here to support all of these people who believe in the same thing that I believe in… that is freedom and to get rid of these mandates that really hinder a lot of people in their life," said Berkhout.
"Solidarity is really important and our hearts are with those gentlemen and women at Parliament Hill."
Adam Kuzmicz, supporter
"We are here to protest against this thing that’s been happening for the past two years," said Kuzmicz. "We want freedom, we want no masks for schools, we want children to have education again."
"I don't exactly agree with what they're protesting, they're protesting taking away their freedoms and everything. Their choice is not get vaccinated and they've chosen that so I don't understand what freedoms they're taking away," said Prud'homme.
Nada Girgis, protester on Parliament Hill
"We need to drop the masks, drop the mandates and start living our lives again. Enough is enough," said Girgis. "They keep moving the goalposts and they keep dividing us, and I think as you can see by this crowd that Canadians are frustrated, they're fed up.
"We want our country to come together, we want our children in school, we want our businesses opened, we want to breathe the fresh air that God gave us. Enough is enough."
Chantale, supporter from Quebec.
"I'm here for everybody because we want freedom," said a woman named Chantale who came to Ottawa from Quebec on Saturday.
"The virus is here. I believe the virus, but I don't know it's supposed to stop everything. Take care, yes, go outside, take a vitamin and take care of you."
"We're not against vaccines, but we do think there should be freedom of choice and we think the mandates should be lifted across the board," Schill told CTV News Ottawa outside Parliament Hill Friday afternoon. Schill says she is vaccinated.
"It's okay for the vaccine. It's not the vaccine the problem, it's the restrictions of the life," said one trucker in the convoy approaching Ottawa.
Jeff Coleman, truck driver from London, Ont.
"We just want everybody to have a choice, their own freedom, don't want to be any mandates and force anybody to do anything they don't want to," said Coleman as the convoy stopped in Johnstown, Ont. Friday morning.
"The public outpouring has just been amazing; every overpass and lined up everywhere it's been great the last two days. If we lose peace and make a mess of things, we're going to lose all the support we gained."
Robyn May, Long Point, Ont. business owner
"We're business owners, we've had mandates that we couldn't open when we were supposed to open. It’s affecting everything. The economy is going down the tubes, we're not a free country anymore," May told the Canadian Press on Parliament Hill.
Kenneth Loughren, supporter
"I just wanted to come out, support the truckers coming down fighting for everybody's freedoms," said Loughren.
Kelly Mae, supporter
"I'm here to fight for my freedom, my children's freedom to end the mandates and to end the vaccine passports," said Mae while standing on an overpass in Prescott.
Troy Springer, convoy supporter
"It is the first positive thing that I have felt since this whole mandate began," said Springer while waiting for the convoy to arrive in Pembroke, Ont.
La Bottega Nicastro
"We just have been told there will be extra protection and just take precautions," says Pat Nicastro, owner of La Bottega Nicastro in the Byward Market.
"But Saturday is business as usual here. Our staff is going to be here, we’re working. We’ve been told by a couple of groups that have come in and ordered some sandwiches and stuff and we’re here to shop and everything is going to be peaceful and we’re not there to make any trouble."
“We have talked to officials and they are giving us a 50-50 scenario about how safe it will be,” says owner Vito Decarie, who will close the salon on Saturday. "We decided to make it safe for our clients and ourselves. I just hope my windows don’t get crushed."
"We don't feel that it's going to be safe for people here to stay while everything is going on and it's hard for people to get to work," said server Riley Phillips, adding the establishment will be closed on Saturday.
"We are trying to be vigilant. We are trying to keep our storefront secure," said owner William Leishin, who has closed Scooteretti this weekend.
Leishin says they decided to close because there was "no solid information" about the event or the routes.
"Nobody can give us a solid concrete answer about how many people are coming into town, what routes they're taking."
Fernando Cellini Hair Salon
"It was probably going to be challenging for our clients to make it down so we decided to reschedule," said co-owner Frankie De Caria, who will close the salon on Saturday.
Smudge Beauty Bar
"We're an appointment-based business right now, we just had to kind of make a decision not to subject our guests and our team to that kind of travel anxiety," said owner Mark Migneault, speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA Saturday morning.
"This just creates a loss for us either way. Clients won't be able to get in, so we won't get the revenues, or our team's going to be at home, so we're paying out the finances. There is no benefit to us, so it's just easier to keep everyone safe."
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Tyler Fleming, Nate Vandermeer, Nathalie van Rooy and the Canadian Press
Ottawa Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Students trapped inside a classroom with a gunman repeatedly called 911 during this week's attack on a Texas elementary school, including one who pleaded, 'Please send the police now,' as officers waited more than an hour to breach the classroom after following the gunman into the building, authorities said Friday.
Speakers at the National Rifle Association annual meeting assailed a Chicago gun ban that doesn't exist, ignored security upgrades at the Texas school where children were slaughtered and roundly distorted national gun and crime statistics as they pushed back against any tightening of gun laws.
Fifty-eight-year-old Vivian Ketchum is set to receive her high school diploma at a graduation ceremony at the University of Winnipeg next month. It is a moment that is decades in the making.
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos was met with justifiable criticisms and unfounded conspiracy theories.
An 11-year-old survivor of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, feared the gunman would come back for her so she smeared herself in her friend's blood and played dead.
A new report says Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto rank among the top 20 cities around the world when it comes to work-life balance.
Fragments of a comet broken nearly 30 years ago could potentially light up the night sky Monday as experts predict an 'all or nothing' spectacle.
The Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling allowing the Quebec City mosque shooter to be eligible for parole after 25 years is raising concern for more than a dozen similar cases.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says the federal government is working with groups on the ground to resolve air travel 'bottlenecks' in time for a busy summer.
A Cape Breton father is warning the public of the dangers in the area he lives after his teenager son fell nearly 40 feet over a cliff in Glace Bay.
A lawyer for families of victims killed in the Nova Scotia mass shooting says an 18-hour delay in finding five bodies of those murdered is a sign of "deficient" policing.
The lawyer who represented a man who murdered three RCMP officers nearly eight years ago in Moncton, N.B., said a decision made by the Supreme Court of Canada Friday may potentially change his sentence.
WATCH | New video appears to show man carrying air rifle on Toronto streets before being killed by police
A man shot dead by police officers near a Toronto elementary school on Thursday afternoon appears to have been captured on home security footage carrying an air rifle moments before the incident.
A 21-year-old Toronto man is facing a slew of charges following a suspected hate-motivated incident at a Jewish school in North York.
Toronto Pearson International is warning travellers and Mississauga residents they may notice unusual activity at the airport this weekend.
Is it unconstitutional to make someone pay to get a legal document translated into French? One of Montreal's top lawyers thinks so, and pointed out two other things from Bill 96 that he thinks the courts would most easily find fault with.
Canada's highest court has ruled that Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered six people at the Quebec City mosque in 2017, will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Quebec says it is ready to vaccinate people who have come into close contact with monkeypox as soon as Friday.
Thursday evening, the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce hosted the 25th annual Bell Business Excellence Awards.
On Friday, there was a walk in Sudbury to remember the remains of 215 residential schoolchildren found in Kamloops, B.C., a year ago May 27.
Staff at the new Sault Metis Centre are getting set for the grand opening Saturday.
Saturday’s powerful storm left a lasting impact across Ontario as city crews continue to deal with the damage. Western University’s Northern Tornado Project reported that two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in London — and on Friday, Environment Canada confirmed it.
A London man is facing impaired-related charges after a vehicle he was driving collided with a gravel truck on Wednesday morning, according to police.
The London Police Service is requesting the public’s help with locating a person of interest after a gun was fired on Richmond Row in the early morning hours of Friday.
Pembina Trails School Division is confirming to CTV News that a group of students found a body during community cleanup at Ècole South Pointe School.
Winnipeg police are telling people to find an alternate route this afternoon as they are investigating a fatal crash near the St. Boniface Industrial Park.
'It's one way to be creative': Winnipeg student wants to be a bartender when older; school doesn't like comment in yearbook
Bartender. That is what one Grade 4 student said for the yearbook when asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, an answer the school is asking him to change.
A man, who was a referee at high school volleyball games in Guelph for more than 30 years, is facing sex assault-related charges.
The Region of Waterloo says there's a high safety risk at a Kitchener encampment and they are working with residents to prepare them for their eventual move.
Two low-cost airlines are butting heads over an agreement at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Swoop wants to offer flights but the airport already has an exclusivity deal with rival Flair Airlines
A southern Alberta man who killed three people, including a two-year-old girl, could have the ability to request a release from jail earlier than his original sentence intended, thanks to a landmark Supreme Court decision Friday.
Calgary Flames fans are still coming to terms with a playoff series loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night in a game that saw both controversy and heartbreak following a Connor McDavid overtime goal.
Western Canada's premiers want to reform their health-care systems by expanding services but they say Ottawa first needs to pick up the phone.
Barrett Ross says his dog Indy suffered a punctured bowel, lost a tooth and had his stomach injured when he was attacked by three other dogs.
The Saskatoon Tribal Council's (STC) temporary downtown shelter has been granted an extension to operate at its present location until April 2023 — but Tribal Chief Mark Arcand hopes to relocate well before then.
A pedestrian injured by a vehicle in Prince Albert has died.
A hotly-controversial decision on whether or not to freeze base funding for police in Edmonton was delayed Friday as fallout from a dispute between the mayor and the provincial justice minister continued to rattle political circles.
A 19-year-old man is in police custody after a shooting near Rogers Place after an Edmonton Oilers viewing party ended Thursday evening.
A shelter many expected to remain open until the end of June in Wetaskiwin, Alta., will close a month early.
A B.C. mom with a rare, debilitating illness has spent years trying to get the help she needs. Now she's considering medical assistance in dying.
The number of COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals hit its lowest point in more than a month this week, and the decline was driven largely by regions outside the Lower Mainland.
Researchers working in partnership with UBC believe an eco-friendly material could help solve the world’s plastic pollution problem.
Cyber security attacks happen every day, and as Regina Public Schools division discovered this week, no one is safe.
'Very upset': Senior housing residents plead for Sask. Housing Corporation to rebuild after winter fire
Former residents of a Carievale seniors housing complex want the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) to reconsider its decision to demolish the home.
Premiers from western Canada met to discuss healthcare in their first face-to-face meeting in more than two years in Regina on Friday at the 2022 Western Premiers' Conference.