BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Western New Yorkers are showing their support for Canadian truckers fighting the vaccine mandates in their country, as Canadians are required to be fully vaccinated to cross into the U.S.

Two demonstrations are planned this weekend at the Peace Bridge.

Organizers of both demonstrations, Saturday’s and Sunday’s, say they have no intentions of blocking traffic near the bridge, they just want to make sure they get their message across to government leaders.

“The rest of the world is opening up,” said local activist Marcella Picone. “The restrictions are going away, nobody is using a PCR test upon arrival and Canada still has that. It’s cumbersome, it’s costly.”

The frustrations over COVID-19 mandates for border travel to and from Canada, continue to grow.
Canadian resident and co-founder of “Families are Essential” Sandy Pearce said the restrictions should be lifted.

“A family wants to go over the border, like my son just got back,” she said. “He paid $800 Canadian for COVID tests for him and his family just to cross the border, like, it’s ridiculous.”

To show support of the movement started by Canadian drivers to lift the mandate, Picone is organizing a “slow roll” of vehicles that will drive through downtown Buffalo to Pat Sole Park near the Peace Bridge on Saturday.

Then, another event on Sunday involves out-of-state truckers, who are traveling from Nashville to the Peace Bridge in a “freedom convoy.”

“It’s just… enough is enough and again, the trucker movement with their horns and their big machines, got the attention of the federal government and that’s something Sandy and I weren’t successful in doing,” said Picone. “Our emails got unanswered, our tweets got unanswered, our thousands of emails got unanswered. So good for the truckers that the world is paying attention now.”

A spokesperson with the Department of Homeland Security said the following in a statement:

“To ensure the continued flow of lawful trade and travel, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is working with its Canadian counterparts who are routing traffic to additional ports of entry to limit any disruptions and ensure commercial trucks can enter the united states in a timely manner.”

Spokesperson, Department of Homeland Security

Police say they will redirect traffic if it does get backed up at the bridge at any point during the weekend, especially with the expected demonstrations Saturday and Sunday.

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.