May 22, 2024
2 years ago

Canadians Stand up for Freedom

Western AG Reporter | by Terra Ochsner | February 7, 2022

Canadians Gather to Protest Trudeau’s COVID Mandates

Vehicles across Canada have been gathering to slow major highways in protest of COVID-19 mandates. Photo courtesy of Blake Garner Photography.

On January 15, 2022, Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, implemented a nationwide mandate which would require all essential workers, including truckers, to be fully vaccinated in order to cross the border into the United States. Those who choose to remain unvaccinated are required to undergo significant testing and a 14-day quarantine once reentering the country.

In response, large-scale protests have commenced across Canada, highlighted by the massive “Freedom Convoy” that has consisted of truckers, agriculturalists, and Canadian citizens alike who are saying “enough is enough” to the COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

Protest participant and full-time Journeyman Farrier, Clint Linford, argued that the Canadian government has “moved beyond representation and gone straight to tyranny […] I don’t need to follow his {Trudeau’s} arbitrary rules to achieve freedom. I am free.”

However, the mainstream media has painted a grim picture of the protest, which has seen thousands of participants traveling to provincial legislature buildings in pickups, semi-trucks, and tractors to support the larger scale protest at Parliament in Ottawa. Vehicles were decorated with Canadian regalia and signs calling for freedom.

“The convoy started on the West Coast of Canada in British Columbia. Trucks from the far north to the far south all joined together and began heading east toward Ottawa. Then, more trucks joined in from all parts of western Canada,” Shane Cadieux, a former trucker and current owner of Southland Angus & Charolais, said. “A convoy from the East Coast started moving toward Ottawa as well […] reports are that over 100,000 trucks were registered into Ottawa. There were not only big trucks, but passenger trucks and cars with people to support the truckers as well.”

On January 29, Cadieux, his daughter, and his son were part of the convoy that gathered to protest at Regina, Saskatchewan where roughly 1,000 people participated, he said.

“Words cannot describe what that many trucks, all decked out in Canadian flags, looks like. All along our route, thousands of people lined the highway with flags and posters showing their support and gratitude for what we were doing,” Cadieux stated.

For Cadieux and his family, participating in the protest was about being part of something larger than themselves.

“I decided to take my 8-year-old daughter along with us because I knew we were part of history in the making,” he continued, “It was truly inspiring to see the hope on everyone’s faces. Hope is something that has been missing from people’s lives for two years now.”

That same day, the larger set of protesters arrived in Ottawa where it was planned to protest, peacefully, outside of Parliament.

“After what happened on January 6, 2021 in the U.S., the convoy organizers warned participants to not enter any buildings, and to watch for and report any suspicious activity to the authorities. Everything was very peaceful, from truckers cleaning the streets to games of street hockey breaking out,” Cadieux illustrated.

However, it was at this point that mainstream media began conveying the message that individuals who were protesting in Ottawa were displaying racist and misogynistic symbols while also defacing property and national monuments.

“Unfortunately, the government-owned media in Canada is putting an unfair negative spin on the convoy,” Cadieux stated.

Photo courtesy of Wendy Sloboda of Kaptive 8 Photography.

Some examples of the “racist” symbols that were part of the protest in Ottawa were signs relating Trudeau’s mandates to those of the Nazis in WWII as well as individuals flying the confederate flag.

“It has been confirmed that a masked individual carrying a confederate flag was planted in the crowd, then was photographed by one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s personal photographers. When confronted, the photographer hung his head low and left,” Cadieux stated.

Clint Linford also added, “What’s interesting is that the man carrying a confederate flag had his face covered, and he was asked to leave by other protestors (something not reported on by mainstream media), because the truckers are doing their best to be peaceful and united.”

Reports from the BBC and The Washington Post stated that, according to Trudeau and other government officials, national memorials had also been desecrated in Ottawa.

“The Terry Fox statue that was said to be defaced only had a Canadian flag and a sign that said, “mandate freedom” […] I find it interesting how a Canadian flag is seen as a means of defacement,” Linford stated. “What the mainstream media refuses to show is the vast majority of people in Ottawa are playing hockey together, singing, smiling, hugging, shoveling snow, feeding each other, giving excess money and food to the homeless, honking, and standing together for our rights.”

As a means for supporting the protesters through fuel, food, lodging, and other necessities, a GoFundMe page was created. At its apex, the fundraiser had brought in roughly $10 million dollars in a matter of weeks, even garnering contributions from notable names such as Elon Musk.

However, the page was officially shut down on February 4, and roughly $9 million dollars of donations were suspended, GoFundMe reported, and that money would be distributed to other reputable charitable causes. Despite this fact, many people are continuing anyways on their own dime, others are joining forces through social media to provide food and supplies where it’s needed most, and another fundraising company, GiveSendGo, has announced it will support the cause.

“I believe this shows the length our government is willing to go to discredit this movement,” Cadieux argued.

The next phase of the protest came when a group decided to converge on one of the busiest border crossings in Canada, Sweetgrass/Coutts, with the intent to “slow roll,” or significantly hinder movement at the border.

Quintin Meier, who owns a trucking company that primarily transports feed and livestock, unintentionally became a leader of this protest. He originally participated in the protests by driving 100 miles to Dunmore, Alberta before returning home.

“After a few days of work afterwards, and some serious thought, a few Albertans had thought the best way to finally get the attention of our [government] was to disrupt the flow of commerce at the busiest border port in western Canada,” he said.

The plan was to slow roll Highway 4 to the village of Coutts, turn around back to Milk River a few miles north, then turn back south doing continuous laps all day. One thing led to another, and […], before we knew it, there was a blockade. Nature eventually took its course, and before too long, the traffic was backed up nine miles to the north,” Meier said.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were eventually called in as the blockade remained for several days.

“This was the time I began to step in with an attempt to remove the blockade before the situation intensified. This was a struggle that eventually turned into a bit of a standoff with the RCMP,” Meier explained. “The only thing that kept the RCMP from storming the protest was the fact that no one engaged in any violence whatsoever.”

Through much discussion, the protestors eventually decided to remove the blockade and continue their protest through a slow roll to de-escalate the situation.

Again, the mainstream media and government officials in Canada portrayed the blockade as highly aggressive and even violent. Sampson Moss, a custom hat maker and cowboy from Alberta, has been participating in the protest at the border, and stated that it simply hasn’t been violent.

“It has been peaceful. There have been no arrests or vehicles towed,” he said.

In fact, “one vehicle purposely rammed into a tractor with their middle finger waving out their window, then proceeded to post a picture on Facebook making it look like the convoy ran into their vehicle,” Moss recalled.

Another piece of misinformation being spread about the protest is that an RCMP officer was assaulted, “which is false,” Linford said. “Jason Kenny, our Alberta Premier, publicly stated [it] and has not yet recanted for spreading misinformation.”

Despite all of these factors – the media and major government officials – seemingly working against the cause, there’s no plan of stopping until “All COVID mandates and restrictions are ended. No more mask requirements, no more vaccine passports, no more restrictions,” Moss said.

As it stands, Trudeau has refused to meet with protestors; it was reported that the day before the protest was to converge in Ottawa, Trudeau went into isolation in an “undisclosed location” due to COVID exposure.

“Trudeau and all Premiers of Canada not supporting the movement of the working class just goes to show that all we are to them is a secured paycheck in tax dollars,” Meier argued. “It’s really no surprise that the government is trying so hard to ignore these people and label them as domestic terrorists. It is the belief of the majority that these “leaders” should be tried for treason.”

The hashtags, #holdtheline #growtheline, have been trending on protest support pages on social media, and a major step forward for the cause came on Saturday, February 6. With continued pressure across Canada and a continued emphasis on peaceful demonstrations, Meier reported that a meeting was held with some Members of Legislature Assembly (MLA’s) and called it “huge news.” He stated that in Alberta, the Restrictions Exemption Program would be lifted on February 7, “masks are coming off,” and there’s a “huge caucus backing in the legislature.”

Meier’s post continued by urging protestors to clean up Coutts as a “thank you” for their hospitality because they have made their “statement,” and encouraged participants to begin moving north, because “the more ground we can cover […] the more political ground we gain.”

The horseback Freedom Riders joined the protests in Milk River on January 29. Photo courtesy of Blake Garner Photography.

As the protests have grown nationwide, a new convoy has taken shape: the Freedom Horseback Riders. As trucks, cars, tractors, and plows continue slow roll highways across the country, hundreds of horses and riders have made their presence known in support. At the Coutts border, Sampson Moss reported there being approximately 450 riders on Saturday, February 5.

Shane Cadieux recognized that the vaccine mandate will only continue to hamper the already strained supply chain, but that was just the “spark” that ignited the whole fire.

“We have been in lockdown for two years with mandatory masking, severe government coercion to get vaccinated, and businesses being forced to close. Parents that are unvaccinated have been unable to watch their children play sports. Kids haven’t been able to play with their friends. Families have been unable to gather for holidays,” Cadieux said. “These are the freedoms the truckers are fighting for. The country is behind these brave men and women, and the world is behind Canada. When the mandates are lifted, and the country is free again, we will thank these brave people, not the politicians. The freedoms they have taken were not theirs to take in the first place.”


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