Al Sciola|Jan 21 2022, 8:06 am
Truckers are playing tug-of-war with Canada’s government as thousands continue to defy the current vaccine mandate.
As of January 15, truckers entering Canada from the United States are required to be vaccinated. The federal government confirmed this after a statement from the Canada Border Services Agency mistakenly said that Canadian truck drivers would be exempt from the vaccine mandate.
Since then, talks of damage to Canada’s supply chain have surrounded the issue.
Now, both unvaccinated and vaccinated truckers are standing in solidarity against the mandate in a planned convoy protest set for January 28.
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According to a Facebook group with over 1700 members called Convoi Pour la liberté 2022 (Freedom convoy 2022), and a public page of the same name, a large assembly of truckers from around the country will protest the federal mandate at border crossings at St-Théophile in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, Stanstead in the Eastern Townships and St-Bernard-de-Lacolle in the Montérégie.
The group recently clarified that they do not condone “civil disobedience” in an instructional post for participants.
Freedom Convoy 2022 also has a GoFundMe page devoted to raising money for their case. So far, they have raised over $688,000.
“We are asking for donations to help with the costs of fuel, food and lodgings to help ease the pressures of this arduous task.” read a message to donors. “It’s a small price to pay for our freedoms. We thank you all for your Donations and know that you are helping reshape this once beautiful country back to the way it was.”
The group’s organizer, Tamara Lich, stressed the importance of the cause, saying, “It’s our duty as Canadians to put an end to this mandate. It is imperative that this happens because if we don’t, our country will no longer be the country we have come to love. We are doing this for our future Generations and to regain our lives back.”
With 12,000 to 15,000 trucks expected to come off the road due to new legislation, the Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Québec (CTAQ) said in a media release that the results of this mandate could be detrimental to the food supply.
“The industry is already grappling with a serious shortage of truckers,” said the council.
“The food supply chain, already weakened by the pandemic and a labour shortage, cannot withstand this additional pressure. With more than 70% of the value of trade between Quebec and markets in the northeastern United States transported by truck, any measure restricting the supply of food to the population can be highly detrimental.”
As of now, over 87% of Canadians 12 and older have received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.