‘Freedom Convoy’ protesters voted The Canadian Press Newsmaker of the Year

OTTAWA –

The group of protesters who took over the streets around Parliament Hill and blockaded border crossings to demand an end to COVID-19 restrictions has been named The Canadian Press Newsmaker of the Year.

Editors in newsrooms across the country selected the demonstrators for the effect they had on life in 2022 and their lasting impact on Canadian politics.

They arrived in Ottawa by the thousands in late January to protest COVID-19 health restrictions and vaccine mandates, but also to express a general discontent with the federal Liberal government and disenfranchisement with Canadian institutions.

Protesters also set up camps at international border crossings in the small town of Coutts, Alta., and at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ont.

Some said they felt hurt by two years of pandemic restrictions and wanted their concerns to be heard in Ottawa, while others appeared to have more radical and even violent aims, including the overthrow of the elected government.

Forty-nine per cent of the 104 survey respondents voted for the protesters to be Newsmaker of the Year, ahead of 28 per cent for Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2022.

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