Protesters in Ottawa decrying vaccine mandates placed an upside-down Canadian flag on a Terry Fox statue and added a sign saying “mandate freedom.”
The move was widely condemned online, and has led to people donating to the Terry Fox Foundation in protest of the anti-COVID-19 restriction rally.
“I’m the Mayor of Terry Fox’s hometown,” Port Coquitlam, BC Mayor Brad West tweeted. “He’s our city’s hero, national inspiration and a unifier. Whatever your cause, you don’t get to appropriate his legacy and you don’t touch his statue. Ever.”
I’m the Mayor of Terry Fox’s hometown. He’s our city’s hero, national inspiration and an unifier. Whatever your cause, you don’t get to appropriate his legacy and you don’t touch his statue. Ever. This should be removed immediately. @ottawacity @JimWatsonOttawa https://t.co/Souo0BodaJ
— Brad West (@BradWestPoCo) January 29, 2022
The Terry Fox Foundation also responded to the protest, pointing out that Fox’s believed in science through is mission to raise money for cancer research.
“Terry believed in science and gave his life to help others. Thank you to all of our supporters who help us work toward realizing Terry’s dream of a world without cancer.”
The Terry Fox Foundation is proud to continue Terry’s mission of funding cancer research. Terry believed in science and gave his life to help others. Thank you to all of our supporters who help us work toward realizing Terry’s dream of a world without cancer. 🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/5MSky1YfVM
— TerryFoxFoundation (@TerryFoxCanada) January 29, 2022
Many people took to social media to question why people against vaccine mandates would involve Terry Fox, while others made donations to help the late marathoner’s cause.
Covid delayed thousands of cancer treatments across Canada. You know where Terry Fox would be on vaccinations. 💉 https://t.co/NJVMnyxgUb
— Gerald Butts (@gmbutts) January 29, 2022
In response to the defiling of the Terry Fox statue in Ottawa, I’ve made a donation to @TerryFoxCanada.
Let’s turn today’s negative energy and hostility into positive results for cancer care and research in Canada!
Please consider giving if you can: https://t.co/uaPSConNaK. https://t.co/K7x6RUkc2m
— Alex Munter (@AlexMunter) January 29, 2022
Based on tweets from the scene, it appears the “mandate freedom” sign has been removed. But upside-down Canadian flags are still tied to the statue.
It’s been corrected to just CDN flags pic.twitter.com/DLCLjsEEd4
— Brennan Turner (@BrennanDTurner) January 29, 2022
The rally coincides with the arrival of the “Freedom Convoy” truck protest, which caused gridlock in Ottawa on Saturday. Police have said approximately 100 trucks and 420 personal vehicles were involved.
The convoy was started by a group of people opposed to upcoming vaccine mandates for truckers. While the movement involves a minority of the professional trucking workforce in Canada, other people not connected to the industry have joined because they oppose vaccine mandates.
“As these protests unfold over the weekend, we ask the Canadian public to be aware that many of the people you see and hear in media reports do not have a connection to the trucking industry,” the Canadian Trucking Association said in a statement.