Keep on Truckin’
by Collin Wynter
“The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa are holding unacceptable views that they’re 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, rights, and values as a country.”
This is the statement made on Wednesday, January 26, by the Prime Minister of Canada, in response to the “Freedom Convoy 2022” of Canadian citizens heading to Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates, rising inflation, and the draconian measures implemented by politicians and medical bureaucrats.
This is not the first time Trudeau has used such inflammatory language in an attempt to divide Canadians. One need only recall these comments, on January 5, about persons who are unvaccinated:
“When people are seeing cancer treatments and elective surges put off because beds are filled with beds filled with people who chose not to get unvaccinated, are frustrated. When people see that we’re in lockdowns or serious health restrictions right now because of the risk posed to all of us by unvaccinated people.”
And who could forget his ‘winning’ election narrative pontificated on the Quebec talk show, La Demaine des 4 Julie, on September 17, three days before in person voting was to begin:
“there are people who are opposed to vaccines, that don’t believe in science, that are often misogynists, racist.”
Suffice to say, the Trudeau Liberals won with a measly 32.6% of the electorate and lost the popular vote to the conservatives. This the lowest vote share of a governing party in Canada’s history. It provided another minority government, kept the political landscape comparatively to what it was before, and basically promised Canadians another election in two years (or less). The 2021 election, it should be noted, cost an estimated $610 million.
Trudeau is not the only one vilifying Canadians seeking to have their voices heard at Parliament Hill. Corporate media has fanned the flames with these grotesque headlines:
Far-right groups hope trucker protest will be Canada’s ‘January 6th’
Truckers are flirting with extremists. They should call off their protest
Anti-vaxxer truck convoy signals insidious spread of Trumpism in Canada
Erin O’Toole takes big gamble by siding with trucker convoy protesters
‘Embarrassment for the industry’: Not all truckers support the ‘freedom convoy’
To be fair, these are just headlines, and at times you may find in the article itself a fairly balanced piece. Journalists who write the pieces are not the ones who necessarily pick the headlines. That is done by those who understand which words have an illocutionary effect for clicks. Along with these newsies, we also had gracing social media, the usual run of the mill comments by Trudeau Liberals, and #truanon folks, seeking to foment division by focusing on the hyperbolic elements that are scene in many large protests. It is right to condemn calls to violence and actual acts of vandalism. It is unethical to paint all those participating with the same brush.
Mapping the Road to Freedom
Complicated is the current situation. #truckerconvoy2022 stems from the removal of an exemption for Canadian truckers to be free from testing and quarantine when they cross the land border. To protest the policy, organizers, some of whom are not truckers, networked and encouraged Canadians to travel to Ottawa to protest. A GoFundMe account raised nearly $9 million. A legally dubious “Memorandum of Understanding,” is being presented as a viable measure to remove restrictions. Extremism is a concern, and has been a focal point for many media outlets, pointing out certain individuals who support the movement as having ties with “far right” groups. Independent journalists and the public, who denounce violence, hate speech and extremism, are involved in the entourage. Politicians are choosing sides. Trudeau is, perhaps unsurprisingly, MIA. Overall, the movement itself appears to be an attempt to draw attention to the very serious situation Canadians are perceiving in their daily lives and at a societal level. Particularly in regards to shortages in the supply chain and rising inflation costs. Canada may be reaching the apotheosis of an existential economic and national identity crisis. A brief summary is below. But there will most certainly be more to add in the days to come.
Reuters reported on January 12 that restrictions for Canadian truckers were not to be imposed, thereby removing the necessity to be vaccinated:
“The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said that unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated Canadian truck drivers arriving at the U.S.-Canada border will remain exempt from pre-arrival, arrival and post-arrival testing and quarantine requirements.”
On January 13, Liberal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos stated in a press release that the news was “provided in error.” This was followed up a week later with clarification that it was the Public Health Agency of Canada who issued the incorrect directive. The bungling of this matter has caused “mass confusion,” according to Private Motor Truck Council of Canada President Mike Millian. While Canadian Trucking Alliance President Stephen Laskowski, among others, stated the mandate ‘is not a trucking issue at all. This is a supply chain issue that can have severe ripple effects throughout the entire North American economy.’”
In response to the truckers concerns, Trudeau eschewed responsibility, claiming Canada is aligned with the United States in regards to the vaccine requirements. The United States will be introducing an “identical” policy, and that the truckers have known for months about this issue. Transport Minister Omar Alghabra supports this, as it is their prerogative to:
“defeat COVID and end the pandemic as quickly as possible. What we’re doing right now is for the protection of truck drivers but also for the protection of our supply chains and our economy.”
In a joint media statement, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough and Stephen Laskowski, the president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), said COVID-19 vaccines are the “most effective tool to reduce the risk of COVID-19” and protect public health.
To support the truckers in their right to protest, the Freedom Convoy GoFundMe account was established:
“To our fellow Canadians, the time for political overreach is over. Our current government is implementing rules and mandates that are destroying the foundation of our businesses, industries and livelihoods.”
As of January 29, they have been able to raise just over $8.1 million dollars, with $9 million being their goal. Tamara Lich launched the campaign on January 14. It states that the money will go toward fuel as well as food and lodgings for big-riggers taking part. GoFundMe temporarily froze the funds, citing that they “will be safely held until the organizer is able to provide the documentation to our team about how funds will be properly distributed.” On Saturday, they confirmed $1 million was withdrawn from the account.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been drafted by Canada Unity Foundation, one of the groups that is organizing the “Freedom Convoy 2022” in an apparent legislative attempt to request the Governor General and Senate to supersede the Parliament and overturn the vaccine mandates. As noble as this may be, there is great doubt surrounding the legality of such a measure. This would mean a radical circumvention of 155 years of Canadian democratic processes. Some argue that the real impetus of the organizers is to overthrow the government. It is unclear how they plan to do that.
Perhaps none of this would be necessary if the Trudeau Liberals, who are in government, actually addressed the concerns of Canadians in a serious manner, instead of resorting to name calling, shaming and attempting to divide. Rex Murphy adroitly writes:
“Now I know that the notion that Parliament should reopen for its arrival, is, under the current administration, close to absurd, but a movement as substantial as this one should at least invoke respectful attention. There should already be a schedule for the nation’s leaders to meet with its leaders, to hear them out in full. Not some duck-and-hide, or a shower of dismissals under a cloak of thin semi-conspiracy allegations.”
And where is Trudeau, one might ask? On January 27, he announced he has been in contact with someone who tested positive for covid. Although he is triple jabbed, he believed it is safest for him to self isolate. Not gaining much traction in the victimhood scale of public opinion, on January 28, it was revealed that it was one of his children who had tested positive.
(A rhetorical technique, known as pedophrasty, is the use of a child in an argument to defat criticism and make one who questions the premise appear a villain). One assumes, then, that the Right Honourable Prime Minister will not be available to genuflect at this protest as he has in the past for others.
As for the politicians who do support the protestors, one the most vocal has been Pierre Poilievre, who called out media hypocrisy when asked his thoughts on the “extreme elements” that are apparently in the protest:
“when there is a left wing protest on parliament hill we don’t see the liberal media going through every single name of the people who attends to try and find one person that they can disparage the whole group with.”
He was responding from a position that is under constant attack from left wing media for being a Conservative, who are the only politicians speaking in favour of this. Candice Bergen, Leslyn Lewis, Martin Shields, are a few of the MPs who have proclaimed their support. Even whisp of the willows, Erin O’Toole, made some salutary remarks.
The extremists the left wing media idolize for their story narrative include: Tamara Lich, mentioned above, because she is secretary of the Western separatist Maverick Party. James Bauder, the founder of Canada Unity, for the comment that Trudeau “needs too[sic] be arrested and charged for treason, and for participating in committing crimes against humanity.” And Pat King, who recommends targeting politicians houses, which is completely unacceptable.
Anthony Furey, Brian Lilley and Mercedes Stephenson have reported on their twitter accounts that the organizers have called for peace and not to enter the capitol building. Stephenson in particular states:
“Listening to the CB traffic of the truck convoy (some of which are arriving in Ottawa now.) Lots of folks expressing their support, some logistics being discussed, organizers trying to keep things focused and kicking anyone off who swears or says something radical.”
As for the Ottawa police, on January 28, they stated:
“We don’t have any risk information to suggest that people or business owners need to barricade themselves into their homes or businesses or that they need to close.”
While contrarily on the 26th, they warned:
“I can tell you that within the last 24 hours the Ottawa Police Service received a direct threat from a counter-protest source to the safety of our officers,””That is the reality of what we’ve been dealing with.” [italics added]
The National Citizens Coalition also called for peaceful protests.
Several news organizations have provided an overview of the impetus behind the trucker convoy and the protest overall. True North, National Post, The Post Millennial, Spencer Fernando, among others, have done an excellent job overviewing the situation. While The Globe and Mail provided a photograph series that is worthy of mention.
A Fork in the Road
The media and the Trudeau Liberals (with their partners in crime, the NDP) have a directive to make this a Left vs Right divide. The Left, presented as being the compassionate, kind, inclusive group; and the Right as being white supremacists and terrorists. Jagmeet Singh blatantly regurgitated this ides on his twitter, even though his brother in law donated $13,000 to the trucker convoy which is part of the a trucking association dominated by Punjabis. These two indigenous women may take offence to such a moniker.
This is intentional. The government will either create, or use a crisis in motion, in an attempt to sew division and create an “us against them narrative”. “Us” against the “unvaccinated”, the “racists”, the “white supremacists.” Are there types of people who prescribe to such beliefs? Yes. Are they the majority? No. Even though the Trudeau Liberals shriek that at every moment with their social justice rhetoric. But Trudeau and Alghabra both stated the fringe extremist are a small minority.They are correct in that fact. The extremists are small in number, but the Canadians who seek freedom, are great.
Liberty or despotism is the issue. It is a state versus the people issue. Freedom to make ones own choices, or a life lived under the thumb of government dictates. The continued use of covid 19 as a mechanism of control has worn thin and will only find success as long as the public believes in it. I do not think they wish to sit and listen to this story any longer. The narrative is changing. The people have seen what the Trudeau Liberals are proposing. Indentured through taxation. Success dependent on government obedience. The only concern is, will the government seek draconian military measures to lock down the protest and arrest citizens the way the Democrats did for January 6th? Keeping that in mind, always remember, in Canada, we are True North Strong and Free. Never allow them to divide us and vote them out of office. That is the liberal democratic Canadian way.