Crowd gathers to support convoy of truckers in Lacombe –

Crowds waving Canadian flags lined the streets near the Lacombe Memorial Center, showing local support for the truck convoy to Ottawa. The peaceful rally held on 50th Avenue stretched from 52nd Street to just past 53rd Street in downtown Lacombe.

Event organizer Melissa Jukic says she thinks it’s time to stand up for children, the elderly and end all mandates.

“It’s not just about vaccines. I think we have been divided as a country over vaccines. We need to be united because that is what Canada stands for. We are stronger together and together we rise. I just think whether you get vaccinated or not, you should be respected regardless. The impact this has on our future, our children’s future and their children’s future must end now,” Jukic said.

Jukic has a large family with seven children. She says their freedom is a huge aspect behind the rally as well as the rights of everyone and not just the vaccinated.

“We should no longer be muzzled. We should be able to see smiling faces, we should be able to understand each other, we should be able to grow our children into a world where they can continue to enjoy recreational activities with their parents and be able to support them through that. [We should be] going to the shops, being able to greet our neighbors and have family gatherings between us,” Jukic said.

She also believes the ongoing restrictions are having a negative impact on the mental health of many people.

Jukic herself is not vaccinated but says she respects the right of others to be vaccinated. Regardless of people’s stance on the topic of vaccinations, she thinks it should be their choice. As an unvaccinated person, she says the ongoing restrictions are a challenge to her daily life, especially during the winter.

“The fact that I am not allowed to enter certain areas without being masked and even the vaccinated must be masked. Our freedom to take our children to public places, to swim, to do school activities for them so they can stay active during our winter months is difficult. I just believe that eating out as a family, supporting our local businesses so they can strive and keep striving [is important]. It affected all of us in a very different way,” Jukic explained.

Jukic’s ultimate goal involving these protests is simple, she just wants Canadians to be heard. Overall, she was happy to see the participation in Lacombe.

“It’s not just about the truckers, it’s about our nurses, our doctors, our health care system. We have to defend them,” added Jukic.

The organizer was also collecting donations for the Lacombe food bank to also support needy families in the community.