- A truckers’ and supporters’ ‘freedom convoy’ is heading to Ottawa to protest the federal government’s vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers.
- Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, is concerned about the convoy’s rhetoric as well.
A ‘freedom convoy’ of truckers and supporters is heading to Ottawa to protest the federal govt’s vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers.
However, not everyone in the trucking industry agrees with the convoy’s message, particularly as the rhetoric warms up and the movement gains traction among fringe groups.
Dennis Levesque, of London, has worked as a truck driver for the past eight years. The convoy is an “embarrassment for the industry,” he says, with only a “tiny, tiny proportion of drivers” taking part.
He told CTVNews.ca over the phone on Thursday, “We’re an industry that struggles with how we’re displayed in media and also the perception of truck drivers, to begin with.” “Something like this, in my opinion, only serves to reinforce the stereotypes that exist about truck drivers. It will not assist us in moving the industry forward in a more positive direction.”
The president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, Mike Millian, is also concerned about the convoy’s rhetoric. As extremists pursue to join the movement, he thinks the convoy has evolved beyond the original messaging.
“Our organization has become very worried about some of the rhetoric we’ve heard,” he told CTV News Channel on Tuesday, “hearing racist remarks comparing (the mandate) to Nazis as well as communism — things that are not comparable to what’s going on right now.”
To avoid strict quarantine requirements, the federal govt has required all truckers as well as other essential laborers crossing the border to offer evidence of vaccination as of January 15. To enter the United States, the Biden administration needs all non-Americans, such as truckers, to be fully vaccinated.
Several trucking organizations have also condemned the protests. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, almost 85% of drivers are fully vaccinated. Just as the convoy was about to begin, the group issued a statement saying it “strongly opposes any rallies on public roadways, highways, or bridges.” The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association has also advised its members to stay away.
People and organizations who aren’t involved in the trucking industry, according to Millian, have “grabbed on” to the movement. He’s also encouraging the convoy drivers to speak out against the escalating rhetoric.
“Many men and women have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep our shelves stocked with essential materials where you require them, including a few who will be in this convoy. But if we’re connected with this kind of language, we’re losing our msg, and it’s tarnishing the industry’s image, “he stated
On the other hand, Levesque claims to be fully immunized and supports the mandates. He also points out that truckers in Canada and the United States are subject to other govt mandates, such as regular medical exams to ensure that drivers are fit to operate a truck.
“The mandate is in place to ensure that people are vaccinated to save lives. We understand that people who haven’t been vaccinated are more likely to become seriously ill “he stated, “Government mandates are nothing new to the industry. To begin with, we have a plethora of government mandates and health requirements. This would just be the latest in a long line of them.”
Source: CTV News