On Sunday, Jan. 23, a convoy of trucks, which may be the largest ever recorded, began a journey from British Columbia to Ottawa to protest Canada’s latest COVID-19 vaccine mandate that targeted truckers. The convoy is set to arrive at the nation’s capital on Saturday, Jan. 29, where it will be joined by two more convoys from Newfoundland and Windsor, Ont. Together, the truckers plan to stage a protest on Parliament Hill.
The truckers are protesting a Jan. 15 mandate that requires Canadian truckers to be doubly vaccinated or to quarantine for 14 days when they return from the United States. Prior to the order, truckers were exempt from vaccine mandates as essential service providers.
Initially, the new mandate stoked well-grounded economic fears that it might exacerbate supply chain disruptions and fuel inflation. Pierre Poilievre, the shadow finance minister for the main federal opposition Conservative party, did not mince words. He claimed the mandate would drive up costs, result in lost jobs, and potentially even empty store shelves.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau labeled such concerns as conservative “fearmongering.” He claimed that Canada’s way forward was “vaccination.”
A few days later he tyrannically stated, “The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, or who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians who have been there for each other, who know that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to continue to ensure our freedoms, our rights, our values as a country.”
It seems there are in fact many Canadians who hold “unacceptable views.”
For days, supporters of the “Freedom Convoy” have been lining the streets to cheer on the truckers, with some joining in their own vehicles for stretches of the path, and others donating millions of dollars via GoFundMe.
Fundraiser organizers Tamara Lich and B.J. Dichter have stated that all funds raised will go towards fueling trucks and providing food and lodging for the truckers. Any leftover funds will go to a credible Veteran organization to be chosen by the donors.
Lich and Dicter made clear that the Freedom Convoy serves as a protest against the Canadian federal government’s political overreach, releasing the following statement:
We are a peaceful country that has helped protect nations across the globe from tyrannical governments who oppressed their people, and now it seems it is happening here. We are taking our fight to the doorsteps of our Federal Government and demanding that they cease all mandates against its people. Small businesses are being destroyed, homes are being destroyed, and people are being mistreated and denied fundamental necessities to survive. It’s our duty as Canadians to put an end to this mandates. It is imperative that this happens because if we don’t our country will no longer be the country we have come to love. We are doing this for our future Generations and to regain our lives back.Excerpt of a join statement released by the Freedom Convoy fundraising founders.
Despite the fundraisers’ clear goal for the funds, GoFundMe has frozen the donations until the company “verifies how the funds will be distributed,” according to GoFundMe spokeswoman Rachel Hollis.
Thus, as the truckers’ protest for freedom bravely carries on, it is clear an uphill battle lies ahead. Prime Minister Trudeau shows no sign of backing down, and in a joint statement released on Jan. 25, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough, and Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, voiced their support of the mandate.
Meanwhile, members of the Conservative party have voiced their support for the truckers with some even reportedly waving on the parade. Notably, Conservative Deputy Candice Bergen tweeted out a strong statement of support.
“Hamstringing this essential industry is nothing more than a political move to further divide Canadians. We need a realistic and flexible approach to keeping Canadians safe, and this sweeping mandate won’t accomplish that.”Bergen Supports Canadian Truckers, statement released Jan. 25, 2022.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole also weighed in stating that leaders should explore other practical alternatives to vaccine mandates. He stated, “Let’s be crystal clear. We can advocate for vaccines but also advocate for people to not lose their … home or their livelihood.”
It seems that the battle against the trucker mandate has a long road ahead of it, but I for one stand with the truckers on the side of freedom.
Post by CJ Fisher