Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Source: Karm Sumal/Twitter
One man is in custody and a provincial police watchdog is investigating after BC RCMP were led on a chase in a tractor down a busy highway.
On Saturday, BC Highway Patrol encountered a tractor making its way down Surrey’s Highway 1. Video captured of the event shows police cruisers pursuing the large green vehicle down the freeway.
The RCMP reports that at approximately 1:20 p.m. on November 25, 2023, police attempted to “conduct a traffic stop of a farm tractor.”
In the recording, the tractor is pursued by two police cruisers. The tractor and a police SUV make contact while moving. The vehicles continue forward for a few seconds before the tractor begins to roll. Remaining completely upside down it skids across the street before finally falling onto its side and coming to a stop in a cloud of dust.
“There was contact between the tractor and a police vehicle,” according to a statement from the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO). “The tractor rolled over, and male driver of the tractor sustained an injury and was transported to a hospital for treatment.”
The IIO is a civilian oversight agency for police in British Columbia. It investigates incidents that result in serious harm or death of the public at the hands of police officers any time they occur.
They have begun an investigation into the matter.
When contacted, Surrey RCMP declined to comment on the situation based on IIO assuming control of the investigation.
Identified as farmer Bill Shoker, his wife, Manjit Shoker, confirmed to Global News that her husband was the individual driving the tractor. Some known social media accounts belonging to Shoker have been deleted or deactivated since the chase. One account, not used since 2020, shows a large green tractor used on a field. It appears to be the same model.
Shoker was taken to hospital after his vehicle rolled. The extent of his injuries has not been released, though Manjit Shoker told Global News he would be receiving surgery on either Sunday or Monday.
In pictures of the rolled tractor, a small black flag with white lettering reads “Stop SOGI” can be seen. The RCMP told media shortly after the accident that they believed the driver had come from a nearby protest that same day.
SOGI, short for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, education has caused controversy across Canada, but particularly the SOGI123 program, a broad set of tools for teachers and policies for school boards that aim to foster inclusivity in the education system around different sexualities and gender identities. Since its introduction, SOGI123 has been a target for those who not only oppose LGBTQ people in general, but want to keep sexual health education out of schools altogether.
Posters from the November 25 “Road Rally” indicate the protest was scheduled to begin at 10 am in Chilliwack, then make its way through Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, Burnaby, and Vancouver using Highway 1.
A video allegedly posted by Shoker from the road has been reshared across multiple social media platforms. The footage shows inside the cab of a tractor and eventually a man who appears to be Shoker.
“We are just leaving the district of Chilliwack and going to be approaching the district of Abbotsford, BC, in about 20 minutes,” he says in the video. “I would like all the parents watching this, if you love your children, please support this cause before it is too late. Thank you.”
Pictures from the scene show damage to a police vehicle. No police injuries have been reported.