The three-week Freedom Convoy and protest could have been avoided if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had agreed to meet with the truckers and simply acknowledge the science he says he follows.
They are not bad people. Before we had a COVID vaccine, Trudeau thanked truckers for being the heroes working through the pandemic. But now that the vaccine is not so essential and you can get 10 jabs, according to Premier Doug Ford, and still get infected; and even though truck drivers self-isolate in their work — quarantining is part of the job — Trudeau has decided that they damned-well better get that vaccine or he will ruin their lives. And while you’re at it, keep delivering me my stuff.
Ninety per cent of the population has been vaccinated and this two-year pandemic is over. Numerous studies now show that the lockdowns didn’t help, healthy people rarely die from COVID and cloth masks are a joke. With the facts in front of him, a 12-year-old can figure out that we’ve been had. I might not share the concerns of all the protesting truckers and farmers against the vaccination but I support their right not to take an experimental vaccine. I wasn’t in favour of closing the International bridge at Windsor but it was only for four days and there are still 118 border crossings to choose from. Four days is nothing compared to two years of supply chain hell. Everything else about the protest has been completely peaceful.
The freedom convoy is a workers’ movement embraced by millions of people whose lives have cruelly succumbed to a slow death by restrictions. They have legitimate grievances. Would they travel across the country if they didn’t? But Trudeau was not interested. Just go away, he said. And when they didn’t he sent in police with batons and face guards and semi-automatic weapons and pepper spray. A news reporter was shot at point-blank range by a rubber bullet and hit three times with a baseball bat-type stick by a police officer. The cruelty began in glaring juxtaposition next to the elegance of the Chateau Laurier hotel. As a large crowd of good citizens and children wept in shock, an army of intimidating police officers mached in-step bellowing in unison “Move back.” They arrested many who broke away from the crowd. But that was not enough. Police horses marched in and two people were trampled. Police beat at least one man with the end of a rifle.
All of this was only a block away from where our shameful prime minister took a knee in 2020 in homage to black lives matters, a violent, chaotic movement that torched cities and destroyed billions of dollars in property. Compare that “peaceful” movement to the Freedom Convoy one day before the police moved in. They prayed in a large group in front of the eternal flame and sang the national anthem. I have not heard of even one broken window. But the police broke truck windows and pulled truckers out of their cabs.
The Ottawa mayor, in a bald-face lie, called the protest the biggest state of emergency the city ever faced. The truth of the matter is that the homeless had never been better fed. But those filthy children were playing on bouncy castles. There were hot tubs and saunas, barbecues and dance parties. If only every protest so welcomed families and children. Many politicians and citizens disgraced themselves by calling the protestors racists, Nazis or white supremacists. There was absolutely no evidence that there were more than a handful of detractors that didn’t fit in with the loving crowd.
The news media giants were also a disgrace, misguiding good people to mistakenly accept a movement of heroes as criminals. The CBC conveniently posted video of the police horses but cut the scene of two people trampled. Millions of people hated what they thought was the Freedom Convoy. If they really knew what was happening on the ground, I would bet there wouldn’t be 100 people opposed to this grassroots freedom movement.
It took Canada’s truckers, and many farmers and trades workers, to pick up the torch in an attempt to fix this country when no one else would. They stuffed the COVID garbage back in its stinking bag and lit a fire of joy in the hearts of millions of Canadians. Immigrants from former communist nations are among their most ardent supporters.
In another vicious display of cruelty, the Ottawa police force has said it will chase down protestors and hurt them financially. How dare this worker movement come to the city of power in a peaceful manner and ask for a hearing. Go back to your holes, they were told.
For good measure, the Liberals and NDP joined hands to pass an Emergencies Act that allowed for a government lock on bank accounts. The NDP, born in 1933 as the champion of the workers, threw their own hard and fast under the front wheels of the bus; a sickening display to say the least.
Then the Liberal government ordered banks to freeze accounts of people who participated in the Freedom Convoy. One woman who claimed to have donated $25, said her bank account was frozen. The Emergencies Act was dropped before a Senate vote. (A Senate vote would have allowed the Senate access to the government’s reasons for invoking the Act.)
The stink of it all rises to high heaven. Good people, oppressed for two years, get hammered by their own pouting, petulant governments, who would not meet with them but were quick to call them ugly names, even lie about them and stoke angry division across the country.
On a snow-white week in February our prime minister guided us toward a new horizon and we became Canada the cruel.
Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org