Winnipeg ‘Freedom Convoy’ won’t proceed, organizer says

by The Canadian Press

Freedom Convoy 2.0 appears to be a bust.

Canada Unity, one of the anti-government protest groups behind the protests that headlined much of last year, has called off its plans to restage the event in Winnipeg in February.

Freedom Convoy
Trucks carried markings discussing calls for “freedom” and targeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during protests in early 2022. (Photo: John G. Smith)

“The Canada Unity Official Freedom Convoy 2.0 Reunion that was scheduled for Feb. 17 to 20th, 2023, is hereby officially being issued a 10-7 out of service,” James Bauder wrote in a news release posted to the group’s Facebook page.

Bauder, who founded Canada Unity, said in December he would bring a four-day event back to Ottawa, staging it at an undisclosed spot outside the city and making daily trips to Parliament Hill. After police in Ottawa indicated they would have zero tolerance for such an event, Bauder said he would move it to Winnipeg instead.

He has now called that off, too.

In his Facebook post, he blamed non-specific security breaches and personal attacks.

Despite the fact the event was set to unfold in Manitoba, he said he is worried he or others could be charged under Ontario’s new Bill 100, which was passed last year after the first convoy protests. The law, dubbed the “keeping Ontario open for business act,” prohibits protests at protected transportation infrastructure, including airports and border crossings. It also allows for police to seize drivers’ licences and licence plates used in illegal blockades.

Bauder was among dozens of people arrested in February 2022 during the first convoy. He faces charges including mischief, and disobeying court orders and the police. One of his bail conditions bars him from travelling to downtown Ottawa.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2023.


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