Canadian 'Unacceptables' Converging on Ottawa

Tom Finnerty28 Jan, 2022 2 Min Read
Deplore this, Justin! (photo: CBC)

A 70-kilometer-long "Freedom Convoy" of angry Canadian truckers -- maybe as many as 50,000 of them -- is driving across Canada. Dubbed by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau as "a small fringe" holding "unacceptable views," they're protesting the country's onerous Covid vaccine mandates, which require all cross-border truckers -- which is a lot of them, since the U.S. and Canada do hundreds of billions worth of trade every year -- to be fully vaccinated or else to quarantine for 14 days, an impossible requirement if they're going to be at all economically competitive.

 

Some 75 percent the goods traded over the border is hauled by Canadian truckers, so even with the comparatively small number of unvaccinated truckers, this mandate has the potential to be extremely disruptive to the industry. Moreover, the number of participants in the convoy suggests that it isn't only the unvaccinated who are protesting -- even vaccinated truckers are upset about the policy, and about general Covid fecklessness from the Trudeau government.

But even the jaw-dropping number of trucks in the convoy doesn't capture the magnitude of what is going on here. Many thousands more regular Canadians have taken the time to show their support, holding up signs, waiving flags, and on and on, at every major overpass between Vancouver and Ottawa. As conservative commentator Rex Murphy put it:

Canadians are unsettled and have been for every day of the confused back-and-forth imperatives coming out of Ottawa and the provincial capitals during the two and more years of C0vid. Furthermore, with the virtual amputation of our Parliament as the venue for voicing and hearing the sentiments of the Canadian people, together with the impotence of the official opposition, and the slack coverage of the press... these factors have meant the slow rise of mistrust, and in many cases an anger that has not been noted or reported.

Canadian discontent over Covid is finally boiling over over. With a limp parliament, a foppish prime minister, and supine Conservative politicians, a lot of Canadians have found in this Freedom Convoy the first glimmer of hope, of someone giving voice to their frustrations in a good long time.

What happens when they arrive in the Canadian capital is anybody's guess. Your move, Justin.

Tom Finnerty writes from New England and Ontario.

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