By Lethbridge Herald on January 26, 2024.
Lethbridge Police are advising the public of a vehicle convoy that will be making its way through the city today between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. along Highway 3, 43 Street South and Highway 4.
Additional roadways outside the city limits may also be impacted including Highway 512 and Highway 845.
Motorists are advised to expect possible delays or take alternate routes during this time, say police.
LPS and partner agencies will be present to help minimize the impact on motorists and ensure traffic disruptions will not affect public safety.
Milk River RCMP say the convoy could cause delays or disruption on Highway 4 affecting the flow of traffic from Lethbridge to Coutts and suggest people with travel plans in the area to consider alternate routes.
An online post by the “Freedom Hub” states that the convoy “is in commemoration of the 2022 Coutts convoy and protest against the government. Our rights are still under attack and our fellow Canadians have been detained as political prisoners in remand facilities since their arrests more than 700 days (ago).”
The event is the second anniversary convoy and fundraiser for Chris Lysak, Tony Olienick, Chris Carbert, Jerry Morin and James Sowery whom the Freedom Hub call political prisoners.
The convoy will head from Lethbridge to Coutts starting at 9:30 a.m. leaving from Stewart Siding. The convoy will travel at 80 km/h to Milk River then slow to 60 km/h to Coutts. Returning northbound, the convoy will turn at Wilson Siding and head north on Highway 845, turning at the Jail Road. There will be two-minute stop intervals at the Lethbridge Correction Centre.
A fundraiser is scheduled from 1-5 p.m. at 3214 5 Ave. N.
A similar convoy was staged last year to support several men accused of conspiring to kill RCMP officers during the protest at the Coutts border in 2022.
Olienick, of Claresholm, Lysak and Carbert of Lethbridge, and Morin of Olds, are all charged with conspiracy to commit murder stemming from the border protest, which began in late January, 2022, and lasted until Feb. 15 when protestors began dispersing in response to the discovery of weapons.
RCMP arrested the accused, as well as several other individuals, during the blockade of trucks and vehicles at the Coutts border, after becoming aware of a cache of firearms and ammunition. In addition to the conspiracy charge, the men were also charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and mischief.
Sowery was found guilty last year of assaulting a police officer at the Coutts border blockade.
Jurors deliberated for about six hours following Sowery’s trial last March before they found him guilty of deliberately accelerating his hydrovac truck toward RCMP officer Const. Cory Kornicki, who had been conducting traffic stops Feb. 14, 2022 along Highway 4 near Milk River.
During trial, Sowery said he did not intentionally swerve at Const. Cory Kornicki, but the officer testified he had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck