Right now a large trucker convoy is traversing across the country and expected to arrive in Ottawa this weekend. This has attracted a lot of media attention so below are my thoughts on this.
I do not support the convoy at all and think both their goals are misguided and this could even turn ugly. I am appalled some Conservative MPs are endorsing this and the rhetoric coming out of some. This is not about freedom as Canada is still by and large a free country but with some reasonable limits for greater good. We are not on the road to tyranny as some on right claim. While we cannot stop such rhetoric on social media, politicians should not be endorsing or playing into it. Reality is the vaccine mandate is hardly draconian. Canadian truckers who are not vaccinated cannot enter the US so even if Canada dropped ours, these truckers who are unvaccinated still wouldn’t be able to cross the border. Likewise seems silly to allow unvaccinated American truckers into Canada if US won’t allow unvaccinated Canadian ones.
As for problems with supply chains, I believe weather and absenteeism due to infections from Omicron are much greater threats. But I can also accept some like Canadian Chamber of Commerce have legitimate concerns and while I think mandate should stay in place, I am open to pausing it if it does disrupt supply chains. But so far I see little evidence this is the case. But for those pushing the libertarian nonsense of no vaccine mandates, I have zero sympathy for that. We live in a society where our actions impact others and as I’ve said in other posts; moment exercising your rights harms others is the moment they end.
A lot in this convoy are fringe types with extreme views so I would urge all politicians and reasonable people to stay away from this even if you disagree with vaccine mandates. I didn’t support closing of BC gyms earlier (thankfully re-opened since). But I would never attend an anti-restrictions rally as I know they tend to bring out a lot of crazies so instead I would do things like make my views here, on social media known and even maybe write to my local MLA. When you associate with people on extremes, don’t be surprised if it backfires politically. More importantly, associating with such gives them cover of legitimacy. That is why I am very worried that some Tory MPs supporting this. If it turns violent and someone gets killed or hurt, they will have blood on your hands. It was obvious this convoy is full of extremists and reasonable people should never associate with extremists even if they agree on some things.
I believe Tories need to disassociate with this convoy immediately and O’Toole needs to tell MPs that anyone caught supporting extremists will be booted from party. I am disappointed at how soft O’Toole is with some of the more extreme members. He is a moderate like me, but for party to be viable going forward, it must expunge more extreme elements. Those types can go join Mad Max’s PPC. Yes risk of split on right, but being a leader means doing right thing even if it is not easy. At this point I am almost torn whether to get rid of O’Toole or not. On one hand not happy with him being too soft on more right wing elements, but at same time worry replacement will be even further right. As for Trudeau’s comments on anti-vaxxers; they may have been over the top but he is simply just reflecting how many of us feel. Reality is most of us share the same disdain for anti-vaxxers as he does. Its hard to respect those who don’t show any respect for you. And for those claiming its their right to not get vaccinated; that may be true although don’t fully agree, but its also my right to be pissed at those too. I have little tolerance for selfish types even if it is their legal right so maybe just do the right thing and get the vaccine. All anti-vaxxers are doing is pissing off the rest of us and claiming fighting for our freedom won’t fly with most thankfully. Some blame Trudeau for badly dividing our society, but I don’t think he is particularly divisive. I dislike a lot of Trudeau’s policies, but I also realize Canada is a left wing country and Trudeau is simply a reflection of where median voter is. I may not like that but I accept that and will work on trying to convince people this is not best direction, not take extreme rhetoric some on right are doing now.
The most worrisome part is those calling for overthrow of government. I did not vote for Trudeau once of the three times he ran for PM, but I respect he won fair and square. One of the fundamentals of a democracy is we all respect the outcome even if it was not our preferred one. As we saw with January 6th, once we get to a point where people don’t accept the government as legitimate when their guy doesn’t win, it becomes very dangerous. That is why all mainstream political leaders need to condemn such extreme rhetoric not play into it. I really worry this could turn ugly and someone could get hurt or killed. Giving sympathy to extremists won’t change them, only coming down hard can stop the damage they are causing.