Poilievre, Bernier, and Sloan Join and Praise Veteran James Topp on Final Day of Cross-Country Trek

Poilievre, Bernier, and Sloan Join and Praise Veteran James Topp on Final Day of Cross-Country Trek
People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier (2nd L) walks with veteran James Topp (C) on the final day of Topp’s cross-country trek in protest against government COVID-19 mandates, in Ottawa on June 30, 2022. (Noé Chartier/The Epoch Times)
Noé Chartier
OTTAWA—Several politicians joined military veteran James Topp either for a short time or for the whole day as he was completing his cross-country trek in Ottawa on June 30.

Topp walked from the Terry Fox Memorial in Vancouver to the National War Memorial in the nation’s capital to protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier, who’s been the most vocal federal politician on the issue of public health restrictions since the onset of the pandemic, joined Topp at the starting point in Ottawa’s Bell’s Corner neighbourhood and walked 20 kilometres to the National War Memorial downtown.

“Oh my god, it’s great,” Bernier said about the completion of Topp’s 4,300 kilometre journey.

“What he’s doing right now for all Canadians, it’s about our way of life, it’s about preserving our country like we were used to. We used to be free in this country, and we are not anymore.”

Bernier told The Epoch Times that Topp has been fighting for people who lost their jobs for a medical decision and that he himself has been doing the same.

“That’s why I’m with him today.”

Topp, a civilian employee for the RCMP, was put on leave without pay for not taking the vaccine. As a serving military reservist, he’s also in the process of being expelled for that same decision.

He also faces military charges for speaking up publicly against the mandate. Topp did so while in dress uniform in February.

Conservative MP and party leadership hopeful Pierre Poilievre met with Topp and his supporters at the College Square Mall along the way. He then walked briefly with Topp.

Poilievre asked Topp how he felt about being close to the finish line, and the veteran said, “It’s exciting.”

“I support freedom of choice. I always have, and believe people should have the ability to decide for themselves on these matters,” Poilievre told Topp.

“We should be free Canadians that can decide what they put in their bodies, decide what we think, decide who we are as people .and restore the freedom that brought so many millions of immigrants to this country in the first place. Thank you to everybody who was supporting freedom of choice.”

Topp met with some 20 Conservative MPs in Ottawa on June 22 and told The Epoch Times that this is part of what he set out to accomplish.

He said the meeting was made possible by people he met along the way who wrote to their MPs about what he was undertaking.

“Given the current political landscape we’re in, I think [the MPs] were courageous in doing so. They did what they’re supposed to do, they listen to people in their ridings, and they acted on their behalf,” Topp said.

MP Leslyn Lewis, also a Tory leadership contender, was among the MPs who attended the June 22 meeting with Topp.

Roman Baber, a former Ontario MPP and also a Conservative Party leadership hopeful, did not attend Topp’s last day but walked 15 kilometres with Topp on June 15. Baber did so while wearing dress shoes, pants, and shirt.

Ontario Party Leader Derek Sloan joined Topp at Hog’s Back Park, where the group of walkers took a one-hour break.

Sloan told The Epoch Times that what Topp has accomplished is “historic.”

“I hope that this symbolizes the pinnacle of the freedom protest movement, meaning that at this point, hopefully we see no more infringement on freedom, we see the remaining mandates removed,” Sloan said.

“There’s a lot of people rallying around James. There’s a lot of members of Parliament rallying around him, and I support James 100 percent.”

Noé Chartier is a senior reporter with the Canadian edition of The Epoch Times. Twitter: @NChartierET
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