This past weekend I had the privilege of reporting on the ground in Ottawa, where the Canadian Truckers' for Freedom Convoy — consisting of tens of thousands of transport trucks from all corners of the nation — began to converge on Canada's capital city. Hundreds of thousands of supporters came out in support, to protest the heavy-handed COVID restrictions still in effect across Canada, which happened primarily in Ottawa’s downtown, centred on Parliament Hill.
On the second day of the protest I ran into Jim Karahalios, co-founder of the New Blue Party of Ontario and one of only a handful of political figures who actually came out to speak with the truckers and protesters on Parliament Hill.
Jim's wife Belinda, with whom he co-founded the party, was kicked out of Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative caucus in June 2020 for voting against the highly-criticized Reopening Ontario Act, also known as Bill 195.
We discussed the Freedom Convoy movement that is currently underway, the upcoming provincial election in Ontario, the goals of Jim and Belinda's New Blue Party and Jim's perspective on the state of conservative politics in Ontario. He called on Ontarians to not let the momentum of the freedom movement go to waste, and hopes to see real effects at the ballot box come the election this June.
Jim also called out his political competitors, Derek Sloan and Randy Hillier, and alleges that Randy is acting as controlled opposition for Doug Ford's Progressive Conservative Party.
I have reached out to Randy Hillier and to Derek Sloan to get their comments. If and when they respond, I will invite them for a chance to a share their side of the story as well.
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