GUNTER: Roll on, Freedom Convoy

Article content

The convoy of big-rig truckers who left Vancouver on the weekend headed for Ottawa – and who were cheered from overpasses, junctions and truck stops throughout western Canada – exists only because Justin Trudeau can’t stop playing politics with the COVID pandemic.


Article content

The convoy was provoked into existence by the Liberals’ insistence that all cross-border truckers who travel between Canada, the United States and Mexico now must be fully vaccinated.

Is there a scientific basis for the government’s order? No.

When pressed last week for any evidence that truckers had been bringing COVID into Canada during the past two years along with their loads of lettuce, electrical switches and car parts, a government spokesperson was at a lost to name even one case in which a trucker had infected so much as a single worker at a fast food stop along his route.

Truckers are not 18-wheeled super spreaders.

Trudeau’s vaccine mandate is pure politics. He merely wants to look as though he is taking a tough stand to protect Canadians from COVID.


Article content

Even if only out of sheer gratitude, Trudeau should leave long-haul drivers alone.

For the first 21 months of the pandemic, truckers were designated essential workers. They were exempted from any quarantine, testing or vaccine requirement in place at the time.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Imagine what our lives would have been like without them.

The pandemic has been hard on all of us. Now think about how much harder it would have been without grocery store shelves fully stocked.

In the middle of the first wave, I went to our neighborhood grocery store and found cups of pomegranate seeds in the coolers. When I thought of it, I was astounded that such a non-essential, luxury good had still made it from California to my corner of Edmonton quick enough to be sellably fresh at a time when there was little traffic on the roads and most of us we were huddled in our homes.


Article content

Canadians have had fresh fruit and vegetables, replacement circuits for malfunctioning smart ovens and new jet skis at dealers in roughly the same quantities and on the same timetables as without a pandemic hanging over everything.

Sure, there have been delays and hiccups, but by and large, cross-border truckers made it possible for all of us to carry on without any more disruptions, depravations or restrictions beyond those imposed by government health officials.

All last week and this, provincial health officials have been announcing that they are transitioning from pandemic mode to endemic mode.

Henceforth, COVID is going to be just one of those diseases we and our health care systems have to live with every year.


Article content

In many provinces testing is being scaled back along with contact tracing. If you suspect you have COVID, isolate at home. Don’t go to hospital unless you develop symptoms you consider threatening.

It truly is the new flu.

Infections rate are dropping quickly. Soon, I suspect, capacity restrictions will be lifted at sporting, social and religious events. Restaurants will reopen, along with gyms. (In Alberta they never closed for Omicron.) There will be walk-in appointments at nail and hair salons, again.

Many people will return to their offices.

Eventually, we will be allowed to stop wearing the damned masks.

Over the weekend, even Dr. Howard Njoo, Dr. Theresa Tam’s deputy chief at the Public Health Agency of Canada, recommended against mandatory vaccination.

Vaccines are vital, but it’s just not done in a free country to force people to get injections under threat of jail or hefty fines or loss of jobs.

I understand why many Canadians are beyond frustrated after two years of pandemic and support a hardline against the unvaccinated. But there is no scientific basis for Trudeau’s harsh treatment of truckers.

Roll on, Freedom Convoy!



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user follows comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Leave a Comment