OTTAWA – An “impressive trail of trucks” is expected to cause a nightmare on Ottawa roads tomorrow morning.
Downtown commuters are advised to plan ahead for traffic delays on Tuesday, Feb. 19 and Wednesday, Feb. 20 as a result of the United We Roll Convoy for Canada. Transport trucks are expected to descend on Parliament Hill from the east and west and from Gatineau.
Wellington Street between Kent Street and Elgin Street will be closed to regular traffic from 8 a.m. until as late as after the afternoon rush hour both days.
Commuters should expect delays as alternate routes will be heavier than usual. Avoid travelling by car into the downtown core. Consider walking, biking or telecommuting, if you can. If you are travelling downtown, allow for additional travel time.
OC Transpo is anticipating delays and will be detouring service from the convoy as required. Para Transpo trips in the downtown core may also experience delays with pick-up and drop-offs. For transit information visit octranspo.com or call 613-741-4390.
The two-day #UnitedWeRoll protest will include vehicles numbering in to the triple digits, and the organizers are keeping the route secret because they’re concerned Antifa might try to disrupt it, says the head of the Greater Ottawa Truckers Association.
As the protest nears, more details are emerging about what to expect on Tuesday. The two truck convoys — one that started in Alberta, and another that is coming from the Maritimes — are expecting to converge in Arnprior on Monday morning. Ron Barr, general manager of the Truckers Association, said that there is expected to be “50 to 60” trucks from the west, and “probably 75” coming from the east.
“Tuesday morning, they’ll take off from the Antrim truck stop from Arnprior,” Barr said in a recent interview. “We’re trying to get as many from the east to head down that way, because we want one terrific impressive trail of trucks.”
The #UnitedWeRoll convoy has been controversial, with some criticizing it for its perceived reactionary political bent. Barr said they are expecting counter-protests and are not releasing the route at this time.
The city is closing Wellington St between Kent and Elgin for the protest.
Following the protest on Tuesday, Barr said that the truckers and their supporters will head to the Hard Rock Casino in the south end of the city.
“After our first day’s rally, we will be heading to the casino in south Ottawa for a bit of a meet and greet,” he said. “We’ve secured some space there, so we hope everyday Ottawans and truckers from coast to coast who participate can come in the warm comfort off the casino, have a nice dinner, meet and greet, and you know, have a bit of a patriotic session with fellows from common causes. Everybody’s had enough. Everybody been so inundated with dysfunctional governments that they’re just hoping to rile the citizenry up through Canada in order to be in a better position to make chance in October.”