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Protests planned this weekend in North Bay to mark the anniversary of the ‘Freedom Convoy’

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Northern supporters of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ mark the anniversary of last winter's demonstrations across Canada by holding a gathering of their own this weekend in North Bay.

Protestors told CTV News that they feel covid-related mandates continue to cause hardship and infringe on the rights and freedoms of Canadians.

The gathering began Saturday at about 11:00 a.m. Saturday with a ‘slow roll’ convoy departing from the Walmart parking headed to the city’s waterfront downtown.

Around 30 vehicles and 100 people were seen taking part in Saturday's slow roll convoy.

At the waterfront, the event is set to feature a variety of music and guest speakers along with a barbecue which kicked-off at noon.

A flyer for North Bay's Freedom Convoy 2023 event on Jan. 28/23. (Facebook)Many similar protests and convoys have also taken place in North Bay and other northern Ontario cities the last two years.

"We're here today to protests the mandates still,” said Kris Primeau, one of the protestors in attendance Saturday.

“To make sure everyone gets their rights and freedoms and gets their life back. People are mandated to see their loved ones. Loved ones are still dying alone in hospitals, so this is why we're here."

Police in Ottawa are also preparing for the return of ‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters looking to mark the anniversary.

Both the Ontario Provincial Police and members of the North Bay Police Service were on-hand to patrol the event.

Protesters opposed to covid-related mandates returned to North Bay Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of of the 'Freedom Convoy.' (Jaime McKee/CTV News Northern Ontario)

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