A convoy of truckers and their followers is expected to arrive in the Canadian capital as part of a protest that has escalated from dissatisfaction with vaccination mandates to demands for the revocation of all public health regulations – and even the government coup in recent weeks.
According to the Associated Press, the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, condemned the organization as a “small frame” that held “unacceptable ideas” and did not represent a majority of Canadians before Saturday’s rally in Ottawa.
The Canadian government started requiring truckers traveling from the United States to be completely vaccinated against the coronavirus.
It is mandatory for those who have not been vaccinated – who are thought to account for fewer than 15 percent of the country’s drivers – to quarantine for 14 days. There have been 2.93 million Covid cases and 32,600 fatalities due to the virus in Canada.
It has more than 275,000 Facebook fans, over 40,000 followers on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram and has earned more than C$5.5 million (US$4.3 million) in contributions via the GoFundMe campaign, which began earlier this week.
In an announcement earlier this week, GoFundMe said that the cash had been blocked until a decision could be reached with the organizers on how the money would be distributed. According to a former intelligence analyst, the “speed and anonymity” aroused warning lights.
According to my research, just a small percentage of the people who donated online are Canadian.
Some payments have been made anonymously, and there is certainly some activity from other countries,” stated Jessica Davis, a retired intelligence officer for the Canadian government who now serves as the director of Insight Threat Intelligence.
In Davis’ opinion, it’s “very impossible to gauge how many Canadians support this in comparison to how many people throughout the world are attempting to reject vaccination mandates and the political objectives that go along with them.”
Convoys like this remind me how public health initiatives like vaccination requirements have become more related to partisan politics.
Another major force driving the demonstration is Canada Unity, which has spoken out against “unconstitutional” Covid laws.
According to the group, members of the organization recently uploaded a “memorandum of understanding” to their website, stating that they want to deliver it to legislators on Parliament Hill shortly.
A document establishing a governing committee, according to the organization, is expected to be signed by the head of the Senate and the governor-general. The committee, the group believes, would try to get the vaccination mandate revoked.
The text, according to Davis, is “mostly unintelligible and entirely removed from our political reality.”
Although the convoy has gained support from federal Conservative leaders, including former leader Andrew Scheer and deputy leader Candice Bergen, who has urged for peaceful protest, the convoy has drawn analogies to the January 6th rebellion in the United States.
Erin O’Toole, the head of the Conservative Party, who has previously voiced skepticism about vaccination requirements, indicated that he would meet with the truckers on Thursday.
However, the organization has gotten backing from prominent figures such as Donald Trump Jr. and Elon Musk. The son of the retired president of the US shared a video on social media praising truckers for their “battle against medical discrimination,” and the internet entrepreneur tweeted on Thursday, “Canadian truckers are the best.”
Some conservatives in Canada have spoken out against the requirement, claiming that it places an excessive load on truckers during times of supply chain stress. Some people have taken images of empty grocery store shelves and publicized them on social media.
On the other hand, experts warn that the vaccination requirement is just one component of a “perfect storm” threatening the nation’s food supply. Poor weather, traffic closures, and personnel shortages at grocery shops have made it more difficult to get food on the shelves this season.
Professor Simon Somogyi of the University of Guelph, specializing in food business and supply chain management, says that the supply chain is “fluid, but it’s also fragile.”
“Because of our short producing season, the Canadian food system rides on the back of a truck,” he added, referring to the C$21 billion worth of food imported from the United States each year, with trucks playing an important part in carrying it.
Among other things, Covid-19 has shown the importance of the transportation system and its flaws, which include a scarcity of truck drivers.
“When it comes down to it, we need more trucks on the road.” It would be better for everyone if everyone came to the table and had an open and honest debate about this instead of making political pronouncements.”