Monday, August 15, 2022
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Victoria police to continue access control points for ‘foreseeable future’

The Victoria Police Department will continue to restrict vehicle access to James Bay and the B.C. legislature for the “foreseeable future” over concerns of a trucking convoy taking over the provincial capital, officials confirmed Monday.

The access control points were put in place on Saturday in anticipation of truckers arriving in the city.

Organizers of the convoy had been planning to occupy areas around the legislature over concerns about COVID-19 measures.

Local vehicle traffic is still allowed into the area.

“We are taking them day by day but you will see them for the foreseeable future,” Victoria Police Department spokesperson Bowen Osoko said.

“As long as we have information people are coming down to participate in protests that are not either safe, legal or lawful, bringing their vehicle down here, we simply are letting them know people can enter by foot.”

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Victoria braces for ‘Freedom Convoy’ COVID-19 mandate protest

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Osoko says the concern is drivers will use their vehicles to impede traffic. There are also concerns about horn honking in James Bay if trucks are set up in the area.

One of the convoy organizers Ron Clark posted on social media the protest strategy was changing.

Clark described the checkpoints as a “big, red zone” and is now trying to organize the convoy to head to Campbell River.

“We were thinking about convoying the group from Victoria to Campbell River next weekend and bring the rally to Campbell River,” Clark said.

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B.C.’s capital braces for anti-vaccine, anti-mandate protest convoy

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One driver attempted to get through the checkpoints on Sunday by telling the police officer they were a local resident.

They were eventually denied and attempted to bypass the no-access zone by driving through Beacon Hill Park. The car got stuck in the park and the driver was issued a fine while the car was towed to an impound lot.

Local businesses in James Bay are still open and vehicles can get in the area if they tell the officers they are going to use the local services.

“Someone who wants to come down and go shopping or go to the library or watch their kid play soccer, that is perfectly fine,” Osoko said.

Click to play video: 'Victoria prepares for a convoy protest'

Victoria prepares for a convoy protest

Victoria prepares for a convoy protest – Mar 14, 2022

Frustration has boiled over in recent weeks with local businesses.

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Bubby Rose’s owner Darioush Diba says they have had to deal with eight weeks of weekend protests including honking and traffic disruptions.

Diba says he supports the right to legal protest but this goes beyond that.

“They are terrorizing us. They came one day. They came a second day,” Diba said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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