Canadian Truckers Protest Federal Vaccination Mandates


Wikipedia Commons

Freedom Convoy protestors block streets in Ottowa.

Over the last few weeks, protesters in Canada disturbed the stability of the Canadian Government, blocked key roadways to Canada’s economy, paralyzed the capital, and inspired anti-vaccination protests around the world.

On January 22, truckers from British Columbia convened in the country’s capital, Ottawa, to protest against new federal regulations that require truckers crossing into Canada from the United States to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. These protests have spread to other major cities such as Toronto, Calgary, and Quebéc City and key border crossings such as the Ambassador Bridge–the link between Windsor, Ottawa, and Detroit. The bridge serves as a vital connection to the Automobile Industry that typically carries $300 million worth of goods on a daily basis.

As the protests continued to grow in size, the truckers’ demands also grew in extremity. 

Far-right activists and separatists such as the People’s Party of Canada and the Maverick Party from Western Canada joined in, capitalizing on the anti-government aspect of the protests to air their grievances and ambitious demands. They demanded the lifting of all Covid-19 restrictions, the dissolvement of the parliament, and the removal of Prime Minister Trudeau from office.  

The protestors also went to extreme measures to disturb the lives of civilians in Canadian cities such as Ottawa, where they blasted truck horns for up to 16 hours a day for 11 days straight. These actions, among others, eventually forced Canadian Prime minister Justin Trudeau to issue a national public order emergency. Authorities seized three trailers linked to the protests in Alberta and confiscated the 13 long guns, machetes, handguns, and body armor contained in the trailers. 

When asked about his opinion on this proactive approach by the police, HPU head Chris Mitchell ’24 said, “The reaction by the police in Canada is proportionate to the extreme actions of the protesters” He elaborated that the police’s use of force was warranted by public health measures. He said, “Things as simple as getting vaccinated to travel outside of the country isn’t a debate. Putting a mask on is your job [to protect your community and business partners]”.

While protests in Canada have begun to weaken, their international influence has only just begun. Similar protests have erupted in Belgium, France, New Zealand, Finland, and the U.S., with a group of over 50 pickup trucks and an 18-wheeler calling themselves the ‘People’s Convoy’ beginning a 2,500-mile cross-country drive from California to Washington D.C on February 23 to protest against Covid-19 restrictions.