The trucker convoy is due to arrive in Ottawa on Saturday

The rest of the convoy of truck drivers and other activists opposed to the cross-border vaccine mandates are set to roll into Ottawa on Saturday in time for a meeting on Parliament Hill.

In the past week, several teams of truck drivers and supporters across the country have been heading to the nation’s capital as part of the “freedom convoy” that has raised more than $ 7 million on GoFundMe along the way. Some convoy participants have already been in town since Friday, along the streets, waving flags in front of the Hill.

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly urges city residents to avoid the center. Police expect “significant traffic delays and disruptions” along several streets in the center. MPs and government officials have been advised to avoid the parliamentary area this weekend.

The police have said that they do not have a confirmed number of protesters, but prepare for a few thousand participants. The parliamentary protection service also expects up to 10,000 protesters.

Some leaders in the trucking industry have expressed concern about the escalating rhetoric coming out of the convoy, as well as fringe groups linked to the movement. A group involved in the convoy known as “Canada Unity” wants to see the Senate and Governor-General unilaterally overturn the federal vaccine mandates – something that is legally impossible.

Ottawa police have also said they have received a “direct threat” to the safety of their officers from a source of protest and are aware of “other groups and individuals” who may not “share the same peaceful goals.”

Sloly said the interaction with the convoy organizers has been “productive and cooperative” and police are ready to investigate, arrest, target and prosecute anyone who commits violent acts or breaks the law.

The Conservative leader, Erin O’Toole, met Friday with some participants in the convoy and said he supports the hauliers’ “right to be heard.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the “unacceptable views” of the “small fringe minority” among some of those who support the truck driver protest and has expressed concern that the protests could become violent.

With files from CTV News Ottawa and CTVNews.cas Rachel Aiello

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