Canada Trucking Protests

With the truck drivers strike, trucking conflicts in Canada have drastically come to a head and the “Freedom Convoy,” a procession of truckers that traveled across the country, recently posted up in the capital to protest. The crowd grew rowdy and agitated but, in true Canadian fashion, there were no guns or bodily armor, and no violence.

Drivers within the convoy reject the vaccine mandate stipulating that any trucker who comes across the Canadian border must be vaccinated or tested—or submit to a quarantine. As the Freedom Convoy arrived in Ottawa, Prime Minister Trudeau was himself absent and recovering from Covid. However, he didn’t look too kindly on the protestors’ actions and expressed anger at some of the antics that broke out in the course of the demonstration. Again however, notably, nobody was physically threatened, attacked, hurt, or injured.

Tensions have exploded in part due to differing Covid ideology, and in larger part due to the strain that so many truckers face in both Canada and the US as labor shortages put increasing pressure on drivers to roll out massive freight deliveries on very narrow timelines, all with stagnant payment policies. There’s a clear reason for a truck drivers protest and truck drivers on strike.

In the larger picture, trucking companies are examining their own operations and fleet management and finding ways to support and uphold the limited number of drivers they’re fortunate to have in their employment. With truck drivers going on strike and trucking professionals asserting their needs, both the businesses who employ them—and the businesses they serve—have looked at what can be done to mitigate some of the difficulties inherent in the job. Wages and timetables and work limits are all considerations and factors under discussion.

American long-haul truck drivers are now beginning to sound off about some of their own frustrations and may arrange for a similar demonstration. In the meantime, the Ottawa crowd has made its voice heard. Whether people endorse the group’s position on Covid is another matter—one that is actually less relevant to the larger conversation as 90% of Canadian truckers ARE vaccinated. But supporting and advocating for the rights and fair treatment of frontline trucking professionals is a priority that nearly anyone can get behind and agree upon.