Durham police investigating after constable posts video supporting truckers’ anti-vaccine mandate rally

A Durham police officer posted a Twitter video voicing her support for the truck convoy heading to Ottawa for the freedom rally. Maleeha Sheikh speaks to Durham Regional Police on their thoughts, plus a bioethicist on whether she did something wrong.

By Lucas Casaletto

Durham Regional Police say it’s investigating after being made aware of a video posted by one of its uniformed constables supporting a protest against anti-vaccine mandates being held by truckers across the country.

Many truck drivers have carried out Canada-wide rallies to protest vaccine mandates with big rigs set to arrive in Ottawa over the weekend. Setting off from Vancouver on Sunday, the so-called “Freedom Convoy” GoFundMe page has raised more the 3.5-million-dollars from donors.

On Monday, Const. Erin Howard took to Twitter to “give a shoutout” to all the truckers involved in the anti-vaccine mandate protest.

“I think what you guys are doing is incredible. You’re fighting for our rights and freedoms, and right now, it feels like we’re a little bit at war, and it feels like those rights and freedoms are at stake,” Howard says in the video.

“You guys are honestly true heroes. What you’re doing is just incredible.”

Howard says she plans to be in Ottawa when the big rigs arrive.

“We are thrilled, thrilled and honoured to be able to be there. I can’t wait to meet you guys. I hope to talk to a lot of you in person,” Howard continues in the video. “Just wanted to give you guys a shoutout and some support. Keep rolling, and we’ll see you in Ottawa.”


Durham Regional Police issued a statement shortly after confirming that investigators are looking into Howard’s video, which is still up as of this writing.

“We were made aware today of a video circulating on social media from one of our uniformed members regarding the Freedom Rally,” writes DRPS.

“The views expressed in that video do not reflect the views and opinions of DRPS. We are currently looking into this matter.”

Howard has shared controversial opinions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures. She retweeted an account on Jan. 16 that stated, in part, “2 years of data have shown masks to be useless in most circumstances. It’s time we abandon the ‘wear a mask to protect others’ propaganda.”

Howard tweeted on Jan. 2 questioning the use and purpose of vaccine passports, writing: “So what is the general consensus? Have [vaccine] passports controlled the spread of Covid? Can we agree to scrap them and move on?”

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The truckers rally arrives after federal vaccine mandates were brought in due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The trucking industry was caught by surprise on Jan. 12 when the Canada Border Services Agency sent out a statement saying that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated truck drivers crossing into Canada from the United States would remain exempt from the vaccine mandate.

The federal government reversed itself again the next afternoon with a statement that said the information shared the day before had been sent “in error.” The exemption would still end on Jan. 15, meaning truck drivers would need to be fully vaccinated if they wanted to avoid a two-week quarantine and pre-arrival molecular test for COVID-19 before crossing into Canada.

In a statement on Saturday, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said it “strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges.”

American truckers are also turned away at the border unless they’ve been fully vaccinated.

With files from Katarina Szulc and Hana Mae Nassar of CityNews

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