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Fired Georgian College instructor becomes face of convoy protest in Ottawa

Tom Marazzo says he was fired by the college after sending an email to faculty members which questioned the school's vaccination policy

A new face of the trucker protest and occupation of Ottawa is a former Georgian College instructor who is now demanding that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meet with him and his team of “world-class scientists.”

On Monday evening, a video was filmed by protest organizers in the nation's capital, which has been ongoing now for almost two weeks. The main speaker in the video is Tom Marazzo, who taught at Georgian for two years.

A reporter reached out to Marazzo on Tuesday. He responded to clarify his links to the Barrie area. On Wednesday, he responded to confirm his work at Georgian College. However, Marazzo was unavailable for an interview. 

“I can tell you that I was fired by Georgian College for sending an internal email to 250-plus faculty, the president, the VP of HR and several deans, questioning the legality of the vax mandate. I put my name on it,” Marazzo wrote in his response. 

“Within days, I was fired for sending the email," he added. "The overwhelming majority of faculty turned against me in a show of unity to support the mandates. OPSEU has been entirely unhelpful. I have a lawyer.”

When asked if he still lived in Barrie, Marazzo said he has sold his home and "relocated far away from Barrie.”

Marazzo’s LinkedIn page says he was contracted full-time at the college from September 2019 until September 2021 as a computer software instructor.

A Georgian College spokesperson confirmed Marazzo was on staff until September 2021, but would not comment further about his departure because it was a confidential personnel matter. 

On Aug, 13, 2021, Georgian College announced it would be requiring vaccinations for all students and employees who will access any college campus or location as of Sept. 7.  

On his LinkedIn page, Marazzo says “if your company doesn’t uphold the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you’re not a good fit for me.” 

In the YouTube video posted earlier this week, Marazzo speaks at length about what he calls "a pre-emptive SOS.”

Two of the main points made on the video were for Trudeau to meet face-to-face with Marazzo and the group, which includes Tamara Lich (secretary of a Western separatist group called the Maverick Party of Canada), Paul Alexander (former Donald Trump administration official and health researcher), and some people who are identified as “road captains.” 

At one point, Marazzo said he would like to have any police who are on the fence about COVID to sit with their “world-class scientists” and motioned to the group behind him.

During a moment where all in attendance identified themselves, a man calling himself Dr. Roger Hodkinson, purportedly a pathologist from Edmonton, was the only person claiming to be a doctor. 

The video also calls on other protesters to come to Ottawa, because the group feared more police were on their way to the nation’s capital.

“If you want to support us, if you would really like to help out, what I’d like you to do is start thinking about coming to Ottawa,” Marazzo said in the video. 

Marazzo said he wasn’t asking people to get in their vehicles or pack their bags immediately, but wanted them “to start preparing your families or start talking to you employers and saying, 'Listen, I really feel my place is in Ottawa this week'.”

Marazzo’s LinkedIn profile also states he was a military officer with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

A CAF spokesperson confirmed by email that “an individual with the name Thomas Marazzo is a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).” 

“He was released seven years ago in September 2016, after 18 years of service. Thomas Marazzo joined the CAF in September 1998 in Hamilton, Ont. He was a captain in the Canadian Army and served as a construction engineer officer. He was released from the regular force in 2015 to join the supplementary reserves. Thomas Marazzo (was) fully released from the CAF in September 2016. His service does not include any international deployments.”

The CAF said any additional information is protected under privacy legislation and they were unable to comment further.

It remains unknown what the Ottawa group's next moves will be.