I didn’t want to write about the Freedom Convoy, aka the yahoos who converged on Ottawa to protest the federal government’s truckers vaccine mandate (and everything else covid related) and created a blockade around Edmonton’s Legislative buildings and blocked the international border at Coutts. These bone heads don’t deserve any more airtime.
But then they danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and desecrated the National War Memorial (the one where Cpl Nathan Frank Cirillo, a ceremonial guardsman, was gunned down in Oct 2014), raised Nazi and Confederate flags on Parliament Hill, called for the overthrow of the government, slung their offensive paraphernalia all over the statue honouring Terry Fox, and harassed staff and assaulted a client at an Ottawa soup kitchen.
The demonstration was a national disgrace. It must be condemned by everyone, particularly our political leaders.
Many, like Senator Paula Simons, issued a clear and unequivocal condemnation immediately. Others like Jason Kenney waited until the next day, tweeting his disgust late Sunday afternoon.
Why did Kenney wait so long?
Did he not understand how unspeakable these actions were? Or was he trapped by his own words and actions in the two weeks leading up to the demonstration?
On Jan 15 the Kenney government issued a press release saying 52% of Alberta GDP is delivered by truck (really?). The pandemic and BC floods demonstrated the fragility of the supply chain (true) and his government was doing everything it could to keep the economy functioning and growing (for the sake of argument let’s assume that’s true).
The government had heard from “transportation stakeholders” (whoever they are) and would “watch closely to monitor the effect of these new federal and US government vaccine mandates and take action as required in the best interest of Albertans.”
This press release is a piece of propaganda because (1) there’s no evidence that the truckers vaccine mandate is, in and of itself, materially impacting Alberta’s GDP and (2) even if it negatively impacting our GDP the provincial government has no jurisdiction over Canada’s relationship with the US so there’s nothing Kenney can do about it.
Never mind. The purpose of the press release was to signal to the unvaccinated truckers and other unvaccinated Albertans that Kenney has their back.
Kenney supports the Freedom Convoy
Kenney did three things to support the Freedom Convoy.
A week ago, Kenney retweeted photos of empty grocery shelves and declared the federal truckers mandate was “making a bad situation much worse”. He provided no evidence of when or where the photos were taken or why the shelves were empty, and he did not back up his claim that the supply chain crunch had been exacerbated by the trucker vaccine mandate.
Instead he created a false narrative: Empty grocery shelves are a direct result of the federal truckers vaccine mandate.* This was irresponsible.
He praised truckers who kept grocery shelves stocked (90% of them are vaccinated) and said everyone (read: the 10% who are not vaccinated) has the right to peaceful protest. He said he agreed with those who were protesting the trucker vaccine mandate. He said he hoped they’d disassociate themselves from anybody with extreme or hateful views, then acknowledged that in any big social movement there are going to be some people with “fringe views.”**
Kenney urged the federal government to use common sense, which in Kenney-land means abandon the vaccine policy to appease the 10% of truckers who do not want to get vaccinated. This is ludicrous given there’s no evidence to show that without the unvaccinated truckers our grocery stores would be empty.
Three days ago, Kenney announced he’d be attending the National Governors Association meeting in Washington DC where he would discuss the US and Canadian government’s policies impacting “many cross-border truckers, causing further damage to supply chains and higher prices for consumers.”
Once again, he would be urging Biden and Trudeau to use common sense. One can only hope his argument for common sense at the National Governors meeting will include more evidence than he’s presented to date.
A day after Freedom Convoy protestors desecrated monuments and statues honouring our war dead and Terry Fox, and harassed staff and attacked a client at a soup kitchen, Kenney condemned the desecration of the monuments. He was silent about the Terry Fox statue and the harassment and attack in the soup kitchen.
In his condemnation Kenney said he had said the organizers should disassociate themselves immediately from anyone involved in the convoy who hold or express racists, anti-Semitic, or bigoted views.
Unless Kenney is referring to a different media event, that’s not what Kenney said.
There’s a big difference between Kenney hoping someone will disassociate themselves from anyone with extreme or hateful views and Kenney telling someone they should immediately disassociate themselves from anyone holding or expressing racist, anti-Semitic or bigoted views.
The first is an ‘it would be nice if you’d…’ sentence; the second is a directive.
Given that Kenney is on record as supporting the Freedom Convoy and given that the protestors’ actions exhibited a shocking lack of respect for Canada’s war dead, Terry Fox and vulnerable Canadians, and a whole host of extreme positions, Kenney’s condemnation misses the mark.
Furthermore, he failed to deal with the Freedom Convoy protestors who blockaded the Edmonton Legislature and the border crossing at Coutts by invoking the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act which he passed to penalize those who lawlessly trespass or jeopardize public safety “by seeking to block critical public infrastructure, including roadways, railways, and other important infrastructure.” One would think the blockading the Edmonton Legislature area and the Coutts border crossing would qualify.
A responsible premier would determine whether the food supply chain problem is real. If it is real, he or she would develop a plan to deal with it. This plan would be transparent and would assure Albertans the threat of food shortages had been averted and there was no need to panic.
Instead, Kenney amplified Albertans’ fears by retweeting questionable images of empty grocery shelves. He supported the Freedom Convoy when he knew or should have known those with what he calls “fringe views” would hijack the demonstration and turn it into something ugly, and he issued a half-baked condemnation the day after the Freedom Convoy did exactly what everyone expected it to do.
Kenney painted himself into a corner and now he’s trying to blather his way out of it.
*Gary Mason Globe & Mail Jan 28, 2022, A9
**Kevin Nimmock CTV Journalist Tweet
I don’t think he painted himself into a corner. I don’t think he cares. Not one whit. As long as he gets votes. That’s all that matters to him. Power. He’ll take it any way he can get it.
Whenever Kenney says “common sense” he means incredible stupidity that some people want.
You could be right Janna. The mere fact it took Kenney an entire day to decide he was “disgusted” with protestors using national monuments as public urinals makes you wonder where his head is at.
What a remarkable piece of junk today.
That so called minister of some church……never again, A N Y church
Then that woman that stood on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier should
have been shot right there.
I am getting really, really really tired of this illogical junk.
Gord, like you I’m disgusted by the behavior of these protestors. Having said that I wouldn’t advocate shooting anyone. They flaunted due process, we need to respect it.
“a plan to deal with it” Like when the TCH/Malahat was washed out recently and the gasoline tanker trucks couldn’t get through. People freaked out and there was panic buying, then came the gasoline shortages … until we were put on rations. The problem was solved. The trucks got through a few days later. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful notion if all politicians solved problems? And what’s the point of those 10% unvaccinated truckers and all those others anyway. Even if they get their way they would still have to follow the US mandated quarantine. I believe in peaceful protests but this was ridiculous. What’s Terry Fox got to do with it?
I agree Linda. All of you in BC and especially on the Island were caught off guard by the TCH/Malahat wash out which exacerbated the ongoing shortages related to covid and yet none of you went nuts. Your government took steps to quell the panic. Here we don’t have a food shortage and yet Kenney was retweeting pictures of empty grocery shelves. It would appear he was trying to curry favour with the Freedom Convey. What I can’t figure out is why he did so without knowing who they really were.
The media has reported been reporting for weeks that one of the convoy’s organizers is Canada Unity. CU wants the Governor-General, the Senate and themselves (all unelected) to take over the government. How’s that for freedom–dump your elected officials and replace them with three unelected groups who will govern by edict.
Yep, that makes a whole lot of sense.
There are no words for this individual other than to say he is not a leader ! The trip to the U.S. was convenient as he knew there was going to be chaos in Ottawa after the “ Convoy” “ trucked” in and began their bullying and ignorance. Not only disrespecting memorials but also disrespecting & harassing residents/shop owners and their employees, who live and operate in downtown Ottawa. Running their trucks and blaring their horns 24/7…..Kenney has no common sense, he’s a cunning and shrewd narcissistic and anything he does is for his own gain. His weekend away was right out of the Trump playbook all the while planting the seeds of hate. None of this deserves air time and didn’t need to happen
Bota28. I couldn’t agree more. The latest development in this debacle is Kenney’s own MLA, Shane Getson, joined the convoy. He posted videos of himself driving a gravel truck in the convoy to the Alberta Legislature. He said “[traffic] is backed up all behind us. There is nothing but convoy in downtown Edmonton right now. This is pretty awesome.” Tell that to the people trying to get to work, to get home, pick up prescriptions, pick up kids, get to the hospital, etc, etc.
The selfishness of these people knows no bounds.
There was a smaller-scale convoy here in Grande Prairie on Saturday afternoon, tying up traffic all around the city for a couple of hours. The thing is, leaving aside the validity of the anti-vaxx truckers’ concerns, the issue doesn’t even affect truckers up here. The vast majority of truckers in this region are either in oil & gas & related service industries, or logging, and very, very few have to cross any international borders. The only border most have to negotiate is Alberta-BC, and a few also go up to NWT or Yukon. So, the cross-border vaccine mandates imposed by both Canada & the United States have zero effect on any of the local trucker convoy protesters or their supporters.
However, looking at the signs being displayed by convoyers (if that’s a word which I doubt, but never mind) both locally & in Ottawa, it’s clear the real issues being protested are far darker and more ominous: diversity, equity & inclusion … public health measures in the midst of a deadly global plague that has already killed millions around the world, and over 33,000 Canadians … and our very democracy itself. And Conservative politicians at both the federal and provincial levels are lending both tacit and, in some cases, explicit support to those odious views.
Very well said jerrymacgp. Apparently some protestors are arguing that those carrying Nazi and Confederate symbols and other xenophobic posters were a minority, a few bad apples as it were. But wouldn’t you stop and ask yourself whether you were in the right place if you saw the guy behind you waving a Nazi flag and screaming racist epithets are people?
About those Nazi and confederate flags. The buzz around SM is that these were government plants designed to provide photo-ops and spark media outrage. One man carrying a confederate flag was confronted by the crowd and he walked off. Who was he? Nobody knows. His face was covered.
No doubt there was a lot of yahoos in the protests. But that’s the nature of democracy. It can be messy sometimes, especially by those expressing their views for the first time and who lack access to media and consultants. The fact is they don’t like it when they talk back and raise questions. More than anything it has exposed the divide between the professional and bureaucratic classes and their supporters in the media and the lower working classes who perceive they are being forced to take injections that quite frankly aren’t working very well against the omicron surge.
Ok, most people did their duty and got their jabs. Now they are waking up to the fact they’ll soon need a third and then a fourth booster to be considered “fully vaccinated.” Can anybody say lab rat?The CEO of Pfizer says they are now experimenting with a fourth shot and upping the dosage.
ronmac: the suggestion that those carrying Nazi and confederate flags were government plants is classic conspiracy theory. The group that attacked the Capital on Jan 6 tried the same when the nation didn’t laud them as heroes. They said the ones who defiled the Capital and injured police were antifa. Many were arrested and it turned out they weren’t antifa but idiots running around in buffalo head costumes.
What we do know is the protestors defaced public monuments, flung racial slurs at the locals (these are being investigated) and harassed and intimidated staff at the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter. They demanded food from the soup kitchen (thereby taking food away from the homeless) and then had the nerve to post that the soup kitchen was “happy to feed the patriots”. The shelter’s president said this was “disinformation”.
I’m sure not everyone there is a horrible person, but this is who they’re mixing with.
Speaking of conspiracy theories the CBC was floating a pretty big whopper the other day, suggesting Russia was behind the truck convoy
Speaking of conspiracy theories, our CBC floated a pretty big whopper the other day, hinting that maybe Putin was behind the convoy. You can’t make this stuff up.
The CBC says Russia is running an agitprop campaign in Canada? One that might actually have succeeded in mobilizing a group of useful idiots? You don’t say. Wow, what a ‘whopper’.
ronmac: If there’s someone nefarious behind the Freedom Convoy, then they’re doing a really crummy job. Assume for the sake of argument that the purpose of the protest was to force Trudeau to eliminate the truckers vaccine mandate or resign so the new government outlined in the Canada Unity MOU could take over, then this was a disaster. It failed in Ottawa and it failed at Coutts.
I don’t know why Nil Koksal asked the question, but I note Public Safety minister Mendicino dismissed it by saying he would defer to to the trained officials and experts in that area. It’s too bad the Twitter clip didn’t include his answer.
To GoinFawr’s point, CSIS has been clear that Russia (and China) have been aggressively targeting Canada for some time. https://globalnews.ca/news/7629494/china-and-russia-targeting-canadians-csis-director/
“It’s too bad the Twitter clip didn’t include his answer.”
Oh my, once again you show us how it’s done when it comes to being nice while at the same time exposing another dupe’s agenda.
Too bad indeed, eh ron’?
GoinFawr: I loved the girl’s eyeroll in this clip. 🙂
Putin is having trouble getting his own people vaccinated. Recently Putin’s health minister compared Russian vaccine refuseniks to the Nazis who invaded Russia in 1941.
Ronmac, you’re right. I took a quick look at the stats on Russia’s vaccination rate, 53% have had one dose of the Sputnik vaccine, 48% have had two doses and 7% have had the booster. It went into mass distribution in Dec 2020, a little ahead of our vaccines. Canada (total pop.) is sitting at 84% with one does, 79% with 2 doses and 41% with boosters. Those are total population stats.
China cannot wait to get their hands in Canada and suck all of our resources just like they have been doing in Africa for years now. All those freedom fighters thought that Russia and China were ideologically behind the decolonization in Africa. They found out very quickly that they were going to pay back all the weapons and munition they used there forever. First they were colonized by Europeans and now they are under the thumb of Chinese power. By the way I am not just relating what I read – I was there and I know exactly how the Russians and Chinese acted right after independence in most countries in the south of Africa in particular. Further North it must have been even worse because the richest countries in Africa were all in the South.
“By the way I am not just relating what I read – I was there and I know exactly how the Russians and Chinese acted right after independence in most countries in the south of Africa in particular.”
Can you cite any sources?
MClary – I am sorry what do you mean by sources?
I said I was there and I saw them ( East German, Polish and Russians who were the big boys of the revolution and their consultants) – a revolution that meant taking control of the countries and change the rules as needed. By the way this is not unique to the ex eastern block countries. You just have to take a closer look at what the United States did and does around the world in order to take over resources of these countries. Done with more class? Yes indeed but the objective is the same and so we should not point fingers. In the end those of us caught in the middle are the only ones who should be writing history and not the super powers.
The United States invaded two countries just a few years ago and we think it is alright because it was to protect their interests and we are allies. Well Putin (a maniac) his claiming the same with the Ukraine. They do not trust the West. After all it was Germany that invaded Russia was it not?
I think it is time for us all get well informed about the reality in every case and not just use slogans we do not understand or know their true meaning.
We are just finding out of our own genocidal tendencies with native people and the last residential school closed in 1997 and I am sure that everyone in the government was aware of it while calling out South Africa for what they were doing to their black population.
What is happening with the truckers is simply the RCMP afraid of confrontation. It is clear they will not move so what now?
Do we not have an army that is quickly moved around the world to maintain peace? Well we need the same in Ottawa and in Coutts Alberta because the premiers of these provinces are either with them or are cowards to protect our own laws and rights from hooligans. This is a failure of authority and the rule of law. Imagine if these people were natives or Environmental Groups. They would have already been shot.
“I am sorry what do you mean by sources? I said I was there and I saw them”
You are making a claim about the politics of half a continent that only you know about, and nobody else has written about?
There is some resemblance to a Maidan or Tiananmen “colour revolution”. Some billionare can toss a few millions at GoFraudme and cause these severe disruptions.
Susan: Thanks for another great blog. I really don’t know what the exact purpose of this Freedom Convoy is. It doesn’t seem to have any real direction. I’ve heard them go by where I live, on more than one occasion, since Saturday. They are very loud. I think before spring arrives, we might see actual issues with supplies of goods, and there availability. I thought I’d share some more good music, to help cheer people up. This is Los Lobos, doing a version of La Bamba. It’s from 1987. They are in my music collection, and I did see them live and meet the band members, except for the drummer.
Dwayne, I agree we may be seeing real supply chain issues in the coming months. It’s a complex problem impacted by many factors including delays in getting temporary foreigh workers, extreme weather, labour shortages, a lack of truck drivers and food plant workers, poor pay, poor working conditions. All of which is exacerbated by the trucker vaccine mandate which incidentally applies on both sides of the border. This article sets it all out nicely. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-how-canadas-fragile-food-supply-chain-is-being-disrupted/
PS thanks for the music. I swear you’ve seen every big performer live. Good for you!
Good morning Susan. I read your notice and which to offer my best wishes for an informative note of concerns and opinion. James maxim
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you James. These are troubling times, nevertheless, all the best to you too.
Susan: Here is another song from my music collection. It’s from 1978. Jefferson Starship, Count On Me. It’s another great tune. The late Marty Balin was part of this band.
Dwayne, oh yes. Jefferson Starship. I loved them even when they were the Jefferson Airplane. I have no idea why they changed their name. Do you?
Susan: This should explain it well.
Kenney misses the mark again. Never give this man a gun or a bow and arrow. Trying to appease a small portion of the population in his reactive way just strengthens the divide in the unhinged chaotic party. His every action is reactionary. His pretend government has not been proactive since assuming power. Hopefully Albertans can see this. A wanna be who will never amount to anything but a big pain in the derrière for all Albertans.
I fully agree with you Sharon
Sharon, I have to agree. Leadership is not Kenney’s strong suit as we found out in his handling of covid (especially when he disappeared in the fourth wave). We now know that two of his MLAs, Grant Hunter and Shane Getson, were involved with the convoy. Hunter posted pictures of himself at the Coutts blockade,and Getson drove a truck in the Alberta Legislature blockade. Kenney has yet to say anything about either of these guys, likely because he’d alienate too many of of his supporters if he disciplined them.
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I just replied to a tweet that said, “I really prefer it when Albertans embarrass Canada from within their own province”. I had no argument.
This whole debacle has Kenney, Harper and the IDU written all over it with the money pouring in and the sheer number and size of participants. The mayor of Coutts knew last week this was coming which explains why Kenney again skipped town.
When we travelled to Newfoundland a few years ago, we were almost embarrassed to tell people we were Albertans, there was a very real anti-Alberta vibe. I can’t imagine we would be more welcome now.
‘When we travelled to Newfoundland a few years ago, we were almost embarrassed to tell people we were Albertans, there was a very real anti-Alberta vibe. I can’t imagine we would be more welcome now.’
This in not just in Newfoundland unfortunately. We deserve it we are behaving like spoiled children, the worst being the premier.
Neil, your comment that the mayor of Coutts knew about the blockade last week is a good one. Surely the mayor would call Kenney’s office to ask them for help. I mean Kenney didn’t pass the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act for nothing, did he?
I almost feel out of my chair when I saw Kenney’s tweet of himself talking with the governor of Montana. Kenney said he raised his concern about the Coutts border crossing blockade with the governor; as if Kenney couldn’t do anything about it.
That man is unbelievable.
Re: Harper and the IDU, one need only look at the comments of Erin O’Toole and other prominent conservatives to see how far these guys will go to stay in power.
I did a grocery run yesterday at Super Store. It was fully stocked. The only item missing was Rotel tomato sauce….I think I’ll live!
Kathy, I know! Our grocery store ran out of corn starch. Weird but not the end of the world.
As far as anecdotes are evidence: nothing but everything at the Food Flood where I am to.
Based on the available evidence, I think it’s fair to say that there is at least one item in short supply across the country: tin (well, aluminum) foil from which to construct hats & with which to cover the windows of one’s home to keep covert transmissions out …
First of all Jason Kenney did not say anything because simply he is one of them. He tries to hide it all the time because that is their strategy – fake your real beliefs and get in and then screw it all up.
Secondly I am just amazed that in the middle of the biggest pandemic since 1918 we overfed Canadians now found a new concern – I call it the super rich syndrome. We lose perspective on how privileged we are and then start behaving like Food Divas.
Yes there are some products missing so what? There are people in this planet that have never seen a grocery store in their lives. Millions of people around the world including Canada already have food insecurity. We should all chill out and start behaving like adults instead of going along with any fad that social media creates. I have one suggestion quit social media until such a time when that media is mature enough to be a real source of good information and debate without these clowns manipulating it.
I think the urgency here is fixing this Trump world that has already caused to much suffering.
We all know how obviously sick Trump is but somehow no one has been able to shut him up although he has been hit with thousands of litigation cases. It just shows the rich in the US are above the law.
Carlos: Alberta will be laughed at further, unless this provincial government is gone. Give it not much time, and we might see store shelves with less stock. The UCP isn’t helping matters.
I agree but it is going to take way longer to clean up this mess
Carlos, you make a very good point. Not only are most Canadians (not all, but most) well enough off that they don’t suffer from food insecurity, but many of them can take the time off work to travel clear across the country and camp out in Ottawa until they get what they want.
Re: Trump, my family lived in the US from 2000 to 2007. During that time we saw first hand how bizarre and polarized American politics was becoming. I suspect the people who support Trump were primed for years by groups like the Tea Party. This is very concerning because I see many of the same entitled, self righteous, privileged attitudes reflected in Alberta as well. This does not bode well for the future. All the more reason to nip it in the bud when we have the chance.
On the subject of political polarization, I came across an interesting report from Environics just the other day … it compares polarization between Canadians and Americans. A fascinating read.
1,100 arrests of land defenders in BC, by RCMP SWAT teams in camo with sniper rifles. How many arrests in Ottawa so far? Any parking tickets, even?
20% of Canadian truckers wear turbans. How many of those have you seen in these mobs?
Keith, a similar situation at the Coutts border crossing apparently. RCMP are now in their third day of negotiation with those in the blockade but, unfortunately, so far the protesters haven’t agreed to move so apparently the RCMP are now rendered powerless. If only there was something they could do…
In a desperate attempt to find something positive in all of this, I think I can say that I now have a better understanding of why we haven’t heard anything in four years from the RCMP investigation into the UCP leadership race. Kenney has simply refused to acknowledge that he cheated and will not agree to leave.
Well how many days are day going to negotiate? It is amazing.
If this was a protest of the environmental movement it would have already been shut down and very likely there would be people pepper sprayed all over the place and some in jail if not seriously hurt.
But white Nationalists do whatever they want and even intimidate the police and scream completely unnecessary vile stuff against our prime minister and other people.
Total vandals that need to be disciplined and stopped immediately. I think that this is a clear show of another democratic failure because we can no longer distinguish between free protests or vandalism.
I am sorry for the majority of truckers that have nothing to do with this but I would also expect them to leave now before the public turns against them as well. It will happen if things get worse.
I am sorry I meant to type ‘THEY’ and not day – apologize
Guy, after days of attempting “to find a peaceful and safe resolution” the RCMP has finally taken action. They say blockading essential infrastructure is a violation of the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, the Criminal Code, the Traffic Safety Act and Use of Highway and Rules of the Road regs. Fancy that.
I wonder if Kenney ever dreamed that the first time his Critical Infrastructure Defence Act would be used would be against something like the Freedom Convoy (which he supported and in which at least 2 of his MLAs participated). You know what they say about karma.
Keith, this is such an important point. This morning’s Globe said there had been ONE arrest (out of 8000 to 18,000 protestors). The police say there are several investigations underway for bribery, assaults, and dangerous driving. The police chief said “Every effort at negotiation and co-ordination and de-escalation has continued throughout the last 4 days and will continue until the complete end of the demonstration.” Given that the protestors say they’re not leaving until pandemic restrictions are lifted the police chief will be busy negotiating with them for a long, long time.
Contrast this to the situations where the police are quick to bring in the guard dogs and snipers, and it becomes clearer what’s really going on here.
For anyone not paying attention or maybe who has selective alzheimers, we have had empty store shelves at various times over the last few years, originally due to COVID, most recently due to the BC floods and now more recent COVID restrictions again in China and elsewhere, so this is not something new. Unfortunately it is an ongoing situation at this point.
Then there is the impressive propaganda slogan, calling this “the truckers” protest, when around 90% of truckers are actually vaccinated and working. I suppose it sounds better than the 10% non vaccinated truckers protest when trying to get public sympathy and support.
Lastly there is the blame Trudeau tactic. The US has similar restrictions on vaccinated truckers as Canada, but you don’t see these protesters going down to Washington DC to protest. Oh right, the US wouldn’t let them in.
Sorry, three lies and you’re out!
🙂 🙂 🙂
yes and three just on this one – since they started it has been more than the total number of COVID cases in Alberta
All good points Dave. Doesn’t it make you wonder where some people’s heads are at. They should be aware of these facts and if they’re not, then Jason Kenney has an obligation to tell them what’s really going on. Instead he fanned the flames by retweeting photos of empty grocery shelves.
He went on Fox today to talk about the Cdn and US truckers vaccine mandate and how it will drive up food prices, inflation and shortages. He said he was “concerned” about symbols of hatred and the outrageous dishonouring of war memorials. He stressed people have the right to peaceful protest, and asked people to respect the rules of the road, not to block roads, and to be respectful. The word “Coutts” did not cross his lips.
I suspect the wonderfully vague references to the rules of the road will be as close as he’ll get to addressing the fact that the Freedom Convoy violated the law, held up $12 million/day in exports, stranded vaccinated truckers on both sides of the border and left the village of Coutts without emergency fire service etc, etc, etc. That’s leadership for you.
As for the Coutts blockade, can’t we just pretend and say that Coastal Gaslink is trying to get a piece of equipment across the border and they are upset because of the blockade? The RCMP would then head to Coutts like they were mobilizing for Iwo Jima,
with their camo SWAT suits and snipers and helicopters and dogs. The blockade would be dismantled in no time at all. Just sayin’.
Jaundiced Eye: sad but true. (Also you made me smile).
Like the other Linda said, even if Canada revoked the vaccine mandate for the truckers who don’t want to vaccinate the USA still wouldn’t let those truckers in unless they happened to be US citizens. As far as I know if one is a US citizen one would be allowed to cross the border into the USA even if one was not vaccinated. Though it begs the question as to how said folks got into Canada sans vaccine in the first place. As for Kenney taking actual action at Coutts et al, not until the issue is so out of control he has no choice & will then likely blame the feds for the issue he should have dealt with. Because you know he’d ‘anger his base’, whoever that is. With his leadership review coming up don’t want to get those folks riled up more than they already are.
On a side note, I’d support the costs of policing (literally) plus cleaning up after the protesters being billed to the GoFundMe organizer(s) who set up the GoFundMe to back said protestors. As per the news, that would be Ms. Tamara Lich & B.J. Dichter. As per reports, Ms. Lich happens to be secretary (or ‘a’ secretary) to Alberta’s very own Maverick Party. Since the GoFundMe is meant to cover the protest costs, I’d say billing for policing, cleanup, wages for businesses that had to close due to the protestors illegally entering a mall sans masks & yes, the stolen food from the food kitchen etc. are costs that fund should be billed for since those costs are definitely due to the protest. Don’t see why regular taxpayers should foot said bill, especially when there are literal millions waiting to be distributed. Maybe the charities leftover funds are supposed to receive should be related to cancer, soup kitchens & support for veterans? Just a thought.
Linda, I really like your point about the cost of policing plus clean up being billed to the GoFundMe organizers. I wonder whether those individuals and businesses negatively impacted by the demonstrations in Ottawa and the Coutts blockade could bring a class action for economic loss, mental distress, something.
I contrast the Freedom Convoy with the Greta Thunberg climate rally in Oct 2019. Ten thousand people attended the Thunberg rally. We marched from a downtown parking lot to the Alberta legislature, listened to speeches and went home. People could still get from one side of town to the other, they could get into and out of work, no one intimidated anyone, the difference was as stark as night and day.
Thanks for your well articulated blog post.
I have to add as someone from a small trucking operation family, I really don’t know how anyone in the owner/operator business or drivers would have the money or time to take part in this show. Maybe things have changed up since back then?
In any case, there really are a ton of truckers who are vaccinated and working and not participating. And, even if I did agree with the convoy protest (I’m still befuddled as to what the protest is about as it seems to morph and seems like white supremacy peformativity mainly); I’m just confused as to who would have the money and time….?!
The protesters apparently want the PM to somehow change both Canadian and US law so that a handful of ‘fraidy-cats and entitled, deluded loonies with Class 1’s don’t have to make the choice of rolling up their sleeves or looking for a new line of work that doesn’t involve them wilfully transporting a proven deadly/debilitating disease back and forth across Canada’s borders.
Apparently they are go-funded, since fools and their money are soon parted.
Oh, and since it appears we may finally have a glimpse of a light at the end of the tunnel of this 2 year pandemic (with more in hospital than ever, mind you), these folk stand ready and oh so willing to accept every and all credit for somehow ‘freeing’ everyone with these disgusting displays of their collective ignorance, even though the whole nightmare was ACTUALLY extended dramatically and tragically by these same obdurate fools, and the vicious misanthropes who manipulate them.
This is already happening btw.
From now on, ANY restrictions dropped they will arrogantly and blithely attribute to themselves, as if they weren’t full enough of themselves already.
Thanks Teva. I too wonder about how anyone can afford to take off so much time and spend so much money on such an inane venture. I did hear one fellow say he’d booked off three weeks vacation to be in Ottawa doing his bit, but I can’t understand why he thinks it will be effective given (as GoingFawr points out) the PM can’t change provincial covid policies nor US covid policies. You’d think this would be obvious to most folks but apparently not.
I fully agree with you GoinFawr and it is about time the police does what they do so well against native people or people in the environmental movement.
The disgrace in Fairy Creek a couple months ago was indicative of the biases within the police force. It is now 4 days of this disgraceful show of total lunacy.
So what if the CBC makes one mistake no one is perfect but this daily show of total brainless population that seems to be supported by people like Trump is disgusting. Confederate flags and nazy symbols and desecrating places and statues we all respect? I have had enough and I wonder why the same pepper spray they used in Fairy Creek is not being used now. Is the police afraid of them? Well I think this is an excellent article about it from the National Observer
Carlos, this is an excellent article.
A criminology professor quoted in the Globe said if the police crack down on these large protests they risk provoking a violent response which is probably what the protestors are hoping for and that’s why they won’t move on a protest if the protestors outnumber them. If this is the case why isn’t it uniformly applied in all cases (as per the article).
What mystifies me is it’s not as if the Ottawa police didn’t know this was coming. If they’re afraid that confrontation will escalate things–let’s face it cops were attacked and seriously injured in the Jan 6 capital attack–then do something less provocative like fine them and tow their vehicles.
So far all we’ve seen is pussy footing. This only conveys the message that what the protestors are doing is okay.
Absolutely Susan – the problem is that other than Trudeau they are in agreement with them but just against it publicly to hide their real intentions – Jason Kenney created a law to stop these events from happening but only if they are natives or people working with the environment movement – it is so darn obvious it hurts.
Jason Kenney is the US on a vacation and I am sure in the best hotels and flying private jet and self glorifying to Montana authorities. Really as if Montana is at all a good example to us. He did that because for the most part Republican governors are very willing to accommodate people like Jason Kenney. I am sure he feels at home there and I wonder why people like him do not just move there and try to create their paradise in the US, after all Americans seems to be way more in agreement with their awful policies and I am sure that religiously he would be right at home. We are really not that interested here not the majority.
Carlos, it was interesting to see how events unfolded over the last couple of days. Doug Ford told the protesters to go home and Kenney caved to the truckers. Ford hasn’t done a stellar job of managing covid but even he has done a better job than Kenney.
I agree Susan – you probably know but Max Fawcett is a good journalist and I read him all the time in the National Observer which another one of those fairly successful progressive online publication.
Keith, no one does it better than The Beaverton!
The thing that truly frustrates me is Kenney’s address yesterday. He & his government not only bleated about ‘protecting constitutional rights’ regarding the convoy blockade at Coutts – which incidentally adversely impacts fellow truckers as well as all those citizens who are waiting for supplies – but Kenney is already giving clear indications that he will lift the much hated vaccine passport restrictions in February. In other words, he is both protecting & pandering to the protesters. So much for rule of law or the greater good! One wonders whether an organized protest demanding the implementation of mandatory vaccines et. al would be result in the same level of support.
Linda, I agree. Kenney sent a very bad message when he decided to handle the Coutts blockade with kid gloves. I can’t help but compare it to the nation wide Extinction Rebellion protest. It shut down the Walterdale Bridge in Edmonton. It was supposed to run from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. but ended at 8 a.m. after the protestors reached a resolution with Edmonton police.
Kenney immediately criticized the protesters saying they were blocking workers from getting to work and stopping parents from taking their kids to school. He said, “Somehow this is all supposed to be in the name of environment, but hundreds of cars are now idling unnecessarily as they wait.”
This was a one hour protest on one bridge in Edmonton and he slammed it. Coutts, a $12M/day hit to GDP which blocked a major border crossing warranted nothing but Kenney retweeting tweets from his transportation minister Rajan Sawhney asking for the border to reopen.
McClary I apologize but I was not able to post this as a reply to your post – so here is a new post
McClary thousands of people know about it. The problem is that in the 70s countries in the western world were not that interested in what was happening in Africa for a few reasons but here are a couple of them:
1) They were not interested in too much talk about the politics of racism because of course they all had their hands in it and just like the US who forever pointed the fingers to those colonizers in Africa, their internal racism was and is way worse than Africa.
2) Carter and the American political elites believed that allowing communism establishing in Africa would soon show most of them what it was really like. Although millions were sacrificed by this approach, it distracted the world from racism in the US and it had the expected effect. Less than a couple of decades later communism had failed miserably in Southern Africa and saved South Africa and Mandela from the same mistake.
I was in Brazil at the time and I remember reading stories of cars from people that had left Angola found in Cuba by the dozens. I guess that was the price for Cuban communist help.
3) In the 70s communications could easily be controlled by states. What was written in Britain and Portugal about what was really happening in countries like Zambia, Rhodesia, Angola, Mozambique were easily labelled reactionary because in the case of Portugal democracy was now the new moment of pride with their so called revolution of roses and the very rare journalists writing about it were white and immediately dismissed as just sore losers by both the government of Samora Machel and the many different prime ministers in Portugal that just fought back and forth from a possible fall into communism to socialism and whatever else on the left because of course the right was now in full retreat due to their connections to the previous dictatorship by Salazar and Marcelo Caetano.
In Brazil the propaganda of the time was that the independence of these African countries was perfect example of what diplomacy can accomplish, forgetting that a 14 year war had preceded it. Brazil just like Canada and most of the Western world were just happy to see that their own racism was ok for now. Let Africa be the center of all racism talk.
So just like our residential schools and its consequences, true history will never be written because that history is in the hands of historians, it is in the brains of those who paid the price. In Alberta right now we have a lunatic that I can assure you will never have attached to his name the true realities we are facing right now.
When I was a teenager I dreamed of being an adult and have all the answers. Now I would love to go back to be a teenager to help avoid the garbage adults create in this world.
Most of the people who know the realities of Africa of the last 40 years are mostly gone and I am certain the political elites of the times could not have hoped for a better outcome because a lot of them would have been sentenced to jail for the atrocities they created just like we witnessed in the old Yugoslavia.
Politics is a very dirty Mafia game but we insist in calling ours a Democracy.
Sorry but I meant
So just like our residential schools and its consequences, true history will never be written because that history is NOT in the hands of historians, it is in the brains of those who paid the price.
Thanks for sharing your experience Carlos.
Any thoughts on when Mr. Kenny will jump back to federal politics?
Before or after his leadership review?
The sooner the better. And preferably in Hungary, or somewhere far, far away like that, more his style: A béka ségge allat
Regardless of where he runs I have money on my flank he’d lose big wherever he can’t get away with cheating.
GoinFawr: I’ve gotta say, I love that Hungarian saying. 🙂
Gerald, even if Kenney wanted to jump, he’s made such a mess of Alberta politics, I don’t know if the federal Conservatives would let him in. My hope is that he fades away after the 2023 election like a bad dream.
In Canada, section 83.01 of the Criminal Code defines terrorism as an act committed “in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause” with the intention of intimidating the public “…with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act.”
Does someone need to “lay charges” to get the police to act?
According to the Ottawa police chief his hands are tied? Can’t ticket, can’t tow? No laws are being broken? Traffic laws? Trespassing? Uttering threats? This is what we are to believe?
Here’s a question for Chief Sloly: Is there one, single person suffering in Ottawa as a result of this that has contributed to his wage? And it only needs to be ONE, for those with an agenda. Because, if so, there appears to be a sworn duty that is being arbitrarily, and egregiously neglected.
Tickets are being go funded, I’m guessing. Sounds quasi-something. Well, at least the city is making some decent cash from these ridiculous, noisy geese, with more to come.
“They do it to themselves, they do, and that’s what really hurts”
However, that missive doesn’t really answer the question as to why a big, giant impound lot hasn’t been sourced and packed to the brim with freshly acquired coal rollers.
In the US they are tracking down and prosecuting participants in the Jan 6 insurrection. Can we expect that in Canada? Some of the Americans are claiming they were “just tourists” but the intent and premeditation is clear here. The Coutts mayor just said on CBC radio he was not quite ready to use the “T-word”.
Keith and GoinFawr: these are good questions. Apparently 8 days into the occupation of Ottawa Chief Sloly has issued “zero-tolerance” directives. It’s amazing it took this long. Meanwhile in Vancouver, a flotilla of cyclists have blocked the convoy from entering the city. Well done Vancouver!!
What is happening in Coutts is not surprising because of course everyone knows by now that our premier in particular and the UCP in general are part of the same type of ideology behind the truckers convoy, at least the ones that are still there.
Ottawa it is to say the least a joke and a terrible bad precedent. Justin Trudeau has sealed his fate with doing absolutely nothing. Who can trust a leader that does not react to an occupation?
There are at least 3 countries watching this closely – The US, China and Russia.
Groups in the US are behind this of course testing the waters for a North America insurrection of the extreme right. China and Russia by now have written the following in their security files – that country is easy peasy, just walk in and stay that is it.
“Justin Trudeau has sealed his fate with doing absolutely nothing.”
Short of invoking the Emergencies Act, he can offer to send assistance to local authorities if requested.
Well I am not sure that is true but I will say than invoke it because what is happening is an occupation of downtown Ottawa.
AND we do not know for sure who is behind them other than the truckers
Local authorities have said that they need help from the army so?
Carlos: I would definitely bring in the army and shut this down.
Carlos: The UCP is in too deep, once again.
I think Keith is correct. Bringing in the military is a pretty drastic step, especially since the local police force has not yet done everything it can do to address the problem. Seems to me after this is all over there should be a very public inquiry into why the Ottawa police failed so spectacularly at maintaining the peace when they had ample warning this was coming.
In related news: the Ottawa police hired Navigator, a PR firm that specialized in crisis management to assist with “communication and community engagement support”.
CBC Radio is saying that the RCMP has several criminal investigations of the Coutts blockade.
Susan: I don’t know how much longer this can continue. It should be stopped. It’s ready to have a ripple effect. This doesn’t seem to phase these people. Here is something from Buddy Holly, on the Ed Sullivan Show, in the late 1950s. Peggy Sue. On February 3, 1959, we lost Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, in a plane crash.
*phase these people*
Susan: Another issue that has been missed is that with these blockades of the roads, streets and highways, by these truckers, is that they are impeding emergency responders to help people who are in medical distress. When someone perishes (God forbid, but it could happen), who will be held liable? There will be lawsuits happening.
Dwayne: your point about the blockades impeding EMS and other emergency services is very well take. They also redirect police from their regular duties. So all in all, the impact on communities can be devastating.
The lawsuits are starting now. As to who would be liable, if it were me, I’d do what every plaintiff does, I’d name absolutely everyone starting with the convoy organizers right up to the Chief of Police who bungled the response in Ottawa and the head of the RCMP who have been so ineffective in Coutts.
Susan: I’ve been hearing really loud horns this afternoon, and even prior to that. I’ve filmed some of this. These larger vehicles are difficult to pass by. Especially when there are so many of them, and they are driving at a slower rate of speed. When emergency responders need to get to someone, who could have a heart attack, or be in some other type of peril, and they can’t get to them, and the person ends up perishing, this will get real ugly, really quickly. That is a guaranteed way for litigation to proceed. Whomever organized these protests will be held liable. People will see this plastered all over the news. These protesters will look really bad.
Responsibility isn’t the BANE of freedom, but it is A FIXED COST IN THE PRICE
These so called ‘libertarians’ wouldn’t know a civil liberty if it bit them on the ass, apparently.
Just imagine if someone like me was to show up in downtown Edmonton, grab a bullhorn and address the bullies:
“Who likes BEER!?”
Crowd roars its approval
“Who loves WEED!?”
Even louder roars from the crowd
“Who FREED the WEED?!”
Slight confusion amongst the less stupid in the group who sense just how badly they are about to be burned, again.
“Justin Trudeau Freed the Weed! Rachel Notley made it so! Justin Trudeau Freed your Weed! Rachel Notley made it so!”
An interesting article from a US pundit on these giant man babies:
“I Got Yer Legitimate Political Discourse RIGHT HERE”
“Egged on by the sh!771est propagandists on the planet, the Freedumb Convoy descended upon Ottawa, bringing with them all the familiar hallmarks of MAGA “culture;” the Just Because We Lost the Election Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Have to Do What We Want petulance, the vandalism and violence, and of course, the odd swastika. (Stealing food from the homeless was a nifty innovation, though.) I suppose it was only a matter of time before America started exporting our least welcome, apparently endlessly renewable resource: racist asshats.”
That sounds just about exactly right.
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