First of all I drive a truck – a big one, small one any kind of truck and get paid for it. I like the challenge of safely handling a long vehicle, heavy weights and putting them into small docks and doors.
Secondly I like the people I work with – professionals who do a trying job with skill and not much patience. Under constant pressure to make deadlines, always stuck at a dock waiting for slow (lazy) shippers who don’t care about you or the load, and with a work day of 14-16 hours per day, as well as fighting traffic on an hourly basis; it is not a job for the faint of heart.
Truckers, in the main are just normal people who would do anything to help others out. BUT, as normal people they tend to have frustrations, anger and lots of pressure from all sides. That will wear on anybody and if you are stuck in a cab for 14 hours with only a phone, a radio tuned to right-wing talk radio stations and a CB, one tends to think a lot.
Anger is a funny thing, comes from nowhere, vents in all directions and usually annoys others when expressed. So you could say that Truckers are angry people. So where does this anger go? Usually against traffic conditions and the presumed idiots who are against them in traffic, against uncontrollable items – politicians, accidents caused by someone else, the attitudes of dispatchers and many other things.
What is all of this leading to? The “Freedom Convoy” of course. The money raised, the anger of the participants, the objects of the anger and of course the perceived reason for the anger – Public Health Policy – the vaccination debates.
The Freedom Convoy: Freedom from what and Freedom for whom? Supposedly the motivation for the Convoy is to protest the regulations imposed by the Federal Government that mandates that truckers crossing the Border must be vaccinated and if not must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival back in Canada. So Freedom for Truckers from regulation and Freedom to be able to make an individual choice about a vaccination.
Complicating matters is that that an individual, associated with right wing extremist groups and Western Independence has organised a GoFundMe (GFM) page that is up to $4million. The details of the disbursement policies are murky and GFM has embargoed the donations until more details and transparency become available.
Another problem is that now the US has imposed a vaxx requirement to get into the US this protest is moot, not going anywhere, so it is now just a protest of angry people who would protest almost anything Government does. It will be interesting to look at the sentiments expressed on the protest signs when people stop in Ottawa or support the truckers by standing on Hwy bridges.
Also it is highly offensive to me to have the protesters portray themselves to be Heroes on the “Highway of Heroes” – they are not!
So here’s where I stand.
- Firstly everybody has the right to decide whether they should be vaccinated, but if one refuses to abide by Public Health Policy (get vaxxed) then there will be consequences to protect the rest of Society from Covid.
- Secondly there should be clear policies/rules that all of us must abide by.
- Masks should be worn to prevent transmission
- all of us must present proof of vaccination to go about our daily business
- Thirdly if those of us who assert their Freedom not to be vaxxed then they must be separated from the vaxxed by not being allowed to go about their daily business as normal. These are not normal times and protective measures must reflect that.
So to sum up I totally disagree with the sentiments of the protest and believe that it is a minority of the hundreds of thousands truckers on the road. The majority of truckers I know would not be driving in that Convoy.