In the middle of nowhere, which truly exists between the towns of Longlac and Hearst in northern Ontario, I find my self contemplating existence.
Why do this here you ask? Well as it turns out a truck as jackknifed ahead of me and I am one in a long line of trucks waiting for the authorities and a tow truck or seven to arrive. Of course, in this area, getting the word out is difficult. There are precious few cellular towers and what few they are are designated as “emergency calls only”. This is not one of those areas.
So here I sit waiting. Some thoughts have popped into my head and instead of sitting here playing Euchre on my phone perhaps I should share a few.
I have written about the freedom convoy previously and thought I would delve a little deeper into this while I wait.
We have seen the protest in Ottawa, Windsor and Sarnia, Ontario. There are protests going on in Emerson, Manitoba and Coutts, Alberta as well. Many of the provincial governments have decided to drop their Covid mandates and other governments have vilified the truck drivers and other protestors equating them to misogynists (?) or committing sedition or insurrection.
Let me state first, Mr. Trudeau, calling people names and making assumptions about them does nothing to calm people or bring people together. It divides. You are our Prime Minister. Smarten up and lead. You represent all Canadians, not just the ones you agree with.
To the media secondly. You are an absolute tragedy. You had a chance to report on this honestly and fairly. To redeem yourselves in the eyes of Canadians across the country. Instead you decided to tow the government’s line. You decided to make the people, that make it possible to have everything you own, out to be incompetent and criminal. Nearly terrorists in fact. Instead of just barfing out what the government wants, because they pay your bills, get on the ground and actually see what is going on rather than creating your own story. You should be reporting the story, not creating the story.
Now, I am not saying there wasn’t anyone around the protests causing mischief. In a group that big there are always going to be people causing mischief. That can’t be stopped and that is true of any protest. Look at the Black Lives Matter protests that happened in major cities in the United States. Certainly there were many people protesting but not all of them were burning the cities down and looting. That said, they were still vandalizing and looting. According to some news outlets crime in Ottawa has dropped considerably.
Now the protests at the borders have obviously had the largest effect so far. One quarter of all United States and Canada trade crosses the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario. This bridge is a crucial link for much of the manufacturing in Michigan and Ontario (and surrounding states and provinces really). This includes the currently very troubled auto industry which has been plagued with supply issues since the whole Covid mess began. Since the protest in Windsor began Ford and several other smaller companies have had to idle as they can’t get parts back and forth.
Windsor and companies affected have been granted an injunction to remove the protestors at the Ambassador bridge and many have been removed as of the writing of this piece. But this does not solve the bigger issue which started the whole convoy.
The truck drivers were not asking for the provincial mandates to be ended. They were asking for the federal mandates to end. Instead, Mr. Trudeau and his minister’s have doubled down stating they are now looking at blocking inter-provincial travel for those that have not been vaccinated. In a country that has one of the highest vaccination rates in the whole world. A country that has seen a steep decline in Covid hospitalizations and cases with the Omicron variant. In a country where our very Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that Canadians have the freedom to travel across the whole of Canada. End. Period. No discussion. Section 6 of the Charter by the way.
This should be what frightens Canadians to their core.
What? You have been vaccinated so it doesn’t bother you? That’s great. But what if they restrict something that does bother you?
A third note. I have heard repeatedly from politicians and the media that Canadians overwhelmingly support the vaccine and they all go on to cite the fact that we have an incredibly good vaccination rate across the country. Just because one has been fully vaccinated does not mean they support it. In many cases people have been forced to get the vaccine just to retain the ability to work to provide for their families. That is not support. That is being forced against your will to do a thing you do not necessarily agree with.
This week coming there has been some hinting from out leaders that there will be some changes to the federal requirements for entering the country under Covid. One media outlet says it’s simply that the Canadian government has decided to allow the quick tests instead of PCR tests for entry. I think if the government does not announce the end to the vaccine requirements altogether, or at least for the truck drivers, well, things could actually become serious.
To be clear. I am not encouraging violence or anything of the sort in anyway. I don’t think that’s the way to get things done.
What I will say is, while you all hold the line, remain peaceful and positive.