Crowd of supporters greet truck convoy in Cornwall

Carol Goddard, Special to Seaway News
Crowd of supporters greet truck convoy in Cornwall
Artur Pulatoe, a truck driver from Toronto, was at the Cornwall staging area for the convoy to Ottawa to offer support to those making their way to the nation’s capital. Goddard photo

CORNWALL, Ontario – The cold weather didn’t deter supporters of the “Truckers for Freedom” convoy from gathering at the Petro Pass gas station on Boundary Road on January 29.

A truck cab travels towards the rendezvous point for the trip to Ottawa at the Petro Pass station in Cornwall on January 29. Goddard photo

People of all ages lined the entrances to the Petro Pass, cheering as big rigs and other vehicles arrived at the Cornwall staging area. There was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm amongst the crowd with the vehicle drivers blowing their horns as they went back.  When the convoy moved out shortly before 10 a.m. supporters once again cheered and waved as the vehicles began the trek to Ottawa.

“I couldn’t find a truck to drive, so I came here as an individual to show my support to them” commented local truck driver Jen Booth as the horns honked.  She mentioned how she “has had enough of the restrictions”, mentioning how things seem to change day to day before continuing the vaccines were supposed to allow things to re-open and this hasn’t happened.

A large donation of supplies for convoy participants, including water, snacks and food were located at the edge of the parking lot.  Katrina Elstub, owner of Katrina’s Corner Kitchen in Monkland provided 200 box lunches for convoy participants.  When asked, Elstube explained truckers had supported her restaurant and during the pandemic has supported truckers, including by the donation of these lunches.

One of many groups of supporters at the Petro Pass station, providing support to the “Truckers for Freedom” convoy. Goddard photo

There were close to one hundred trucks and vehicles parked, waiting for the convoy to begin as the clock ticked closer to the 10 a.m. start time.  Toronto truck

drive Artur Pulatoe had made a delivery to Cornwall and knowing people would be congregating at truck stops for the trip to Ottawa on Saturday parked at the Petro Pass station.  While he was not planning to join the convoy, he commented he supported the trek to Ottawa and expressed his thanks to all the supporters.  He mentioned of his friends were travelling to Ottawa in their personal vehicles and he hoped to join them at some point.

Just before 10 o’clock, the convoy of trucks and other vehicles pulled out of the parking lot to the cheers and shouts of support by by-standers.  The convoy followed a pre-planned route to Ottawa, with supporters greeting them from the roadsides as they moved through Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

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