BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) — A movement involving Canadian truckers who are protesting the vaccine mandate is picking up steam locally as hundreds gathered Saturday by the Peace Bridge to push back on the mandates on border travel.

“The ultimate goal right now, for everyone that’s here, is for the mandates to be gotten rid of. They were needed at one time immediately, but they’ve been overused and extended beyond belief. They’re not needed,” said Frank Kolemann, who was born in Canada but now lives in Buffalo.

Because Kolemann is unvaccinated, he has not been able to cross the border into Canada in two years.

“All of these mandates are doing more harm than good,” he said. “The borders are closed to family. I’m a dual citizen. I have tons of family in Canada I cannot go visit.”

People against COVID-19 mandates gathered with their American and Canadian flags and headed from Tonawanda to the Peace Bridge to get their message across.

“I’m here supporting freedom. We need to have our rights back. We need to have the choice,” said Wendy Dominski, who attended the rally.

Across the bridge in Fort Erie, Canada, there was a vehicle convoy, with people showing support for Canadian truckers against the vaccine mandate.

“It’s a small percentage of people who aren’t happy with government policies, all of us are tired of the government policies but we understand that in order to be safe, protect your neighbors and family, you have to follow certain public health guidelines,” said Fort Erie Mayor Wayne Redekop.

A freedom convoy is set to take place this Sunday at noon near the Peace Bridge.

Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.