This Time Last Year…

In 2022 at this time the trucks were on their way across Canada to Ottawa. Over the next little while I’m going to repost some of my thoughts on the Freedom Convoy. It is going to be very interesting to see what happens when the Rouleau Commission inquiry report is released next month. Was the Prime Minister justified in imposing the Emergencies Act? Hois political career may hang on the decision. Today’s post is from January 28, 2022.

Some on the internet are calling it “Canada’s January 6 event,” likening it to the attempted insurrection in Washington D.C. last year. Thousands of Canadian truckers are descending on Ottawa to protest the federal government’s vaccine mandate on their industry.

Earlier this week some suggested 50,000 trucks and a half a million people were on their way to Parliament Hill. To me that seemed ridiculously high. I expected a couple of thousand trucks and perhaps 10,000 people all told – and official estimates are in that range also. We’ll find out today as the convoy arrives from east and west.

That would still make it one of the largest protests in Canadian history. The annual March for Life is bigger numerically, but they don’t have trucks. 

It is disturbing though to hear that some extremists are suggesting there could be violence. What do they expect to do? Seize the Parliament buildings? Then what?

I support the right to peaceful protest. It is part of our democratic system. But lawlessness and violence are not part of the sytem. What happend last January in Washington was not civil disobedience (which tends to be passive) and I hope Canadians upset with government policies don’t try to emulate what took place down south.

I am opposed to many of the current federal policies. I think the Prime Minister has shown that he has no respect for anyone who disagrees with him and has no desire to consider other opinions. He desires compliancy not dialogue.

In this case, he has labeled the truckers as a “fringe minority” whose views are “unacceptable.” It is only a year ago that he was calling truckers “heroes, delivering essential goods during the pandemic. 

Certainly those protesting against the vaccine mandate are a minority, though I’m not sure about the fringe part. Public opinion polls say the majority of Candians favor the mandates.

I am not sure just what is meant when the PM says the upset truckers’ views are unacceptable. Is he denying that they have a right to hold them? Or to peacefully protest in favor of their beliefs? It is certain he won’t meet with them – he is in self-isolation after being “exposed” to someone with COVID-19.

(As I understand the Ontario health regulations, as someone who has been fully vaccinated, Trudeau does not have to self isolate. But by doing so he avoids the truckers and the re-opening of Parliament. Given that no details were released regarding his “exposure,” a cynic would be forgiven for thinking the timing was convenient.)

There’s a difference between views I don’t like or agree with and those that are unacceptable. I’d like to see the PM explain the difference. I suspect he might not see any.

Most of his pandemic policies, I would argue, are based more on ideology than science. His government has done a poor job. He would disagree.

He was warned that a vaccine mandate for the trucking industry could cause supply chain disruptions. (He was also warned about problems with similar mandates in other industries.) He chose to impose them anyway.

I sympathize with those who have what they feel are valid reasons not to be vaccinated against COVID-19. I might even agree that the science behind vaccine mandates as a a method of pandemic control is sketchy.

However, the government makes the rules. Truckers have an option. The vaccine or find a new job. 

Is that fair? Is it right? Is it moral? Good questions. 

It is the law of the land though. Feel free to protest. If you want to change it, wait until the next election. That is the way democracy works, No matter how frustrated you are with the government.

Those wanting to emulate what happened in the US a year ago don’t understand democracy. Let us hope those taking part in the truckers’ protest do.

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