Freedom convoy rolls from Eckville to Sylvan Lake

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A convoy of trucks and other vehicles travelled from Eckville to Sylvan Lake on the afternoon of Feb. 3. The participants displayed their stand with the Canadian truckers and their supports that began arriving in Ottawa end of January demanding freedom of choice around the COVID-19 vaccine and protesting against COVID-19 mandates and public health measures.

“On Feb. 3 2022, Wednesday, there was a group of individuals who formed a convoy in Eckville, AB and travelled to Sylvan Lake, AB along Hwy. 11. The group was peaceful and exercised their rights to protest, which is protected under the charter,” said Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment commander Jay Peden.

The convoy was organized by Innisfail’s Glen Daniel Carritt and Eckville residents Garrette Watson and Ross Watson.

“It was to support the end the mandates convoys in Ottawa and counts about 150 trucks including some tractors. It was very well supported,” said Carritt.

Peden said he looked at the initiative as a “peaceful protest for the most part”, with an incident during the convoy resulting in a motorist being charged with assault.

On Feb. 3, RCMP monitored the rally travelling from Eckville to Sylvan Lake. As the convoy travelled through Sylvan Lake, a pickup pulled in front, blocking the convoy.

Carritt is known to have approached the driver of the pickup and an alleged altercation ensued. As a result of an investigation into the incident, RCMP have charged Carritt with assault and mischief.

Carritt, 56, who was a mayoral candidate for Innisfail in the last municipal election, has been released for court on May 18 at Red Deer Provincial Court.

Additional provincial charges were laid including a charge for failing to yield to pedestrian under the Rules of the Road Regulation to the driver of the vehicle which blocked the convoy.

“Enhanced road safety and traffic safety is one of the priorities that’s been identified by the Town of Sylvan Lake… and we are keeping in line with that mandate to ensure that the citizens of Sylvan Lake are safe and that the roads are not impeded or blocked,” said Peden.

The Alberta RCMP ask that motorists and pedestrians remain calm and obey all laws when encountering any type of protest. Confronting people and committing unsafe acts only serve to further inflame the situation.

Individuals are asked to drive slowly, with increased caution and patience.