Trucker vaccination rules straw that broke the camel’s back
Thank you for keeping a balanced approach with the selection of letters that are printed. I wish to add to this balance by responding to the letter of Paul Harris printed in the Feb. 24 edition. Even though there is no direct reference to the Trucker Convoy that descended upon Ottawa, because of the timing of Paul’s concerns, allow me to take to the liberty to make the connection.
The federal government decision that sparked the convoy was the implementation of the public vaccine rules upon the truckers who had to cross the Canada – U.S. border. Although it would be a relatively small percentage, some truckers would be taken off the road several days. (This decision was due to the incredible spike in positive tests at the border. We went from five per cent positive the week before Christmas 2021; to 19 per cent the week after Christmas; to 40 per cent the week after New Year! Omicron was sweeping through the population like wildfire.
Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations says that the U.S. has a shortage of around 80,000 truck drivers. One might assume that Canada has a proportional shortage. These short staffed, long-haul truckers, woke up for the day’s trip (or night, or both), pulled even harder to bring us our needed and some not so needed supplies thousands of kilometers, went to sleep in the truck only to wake up and pull some more. They were considered essential workers, heroes of our land. Thus, this slight percentage of truckers about to get pulled off the road to adhere to the border vaccination restrictions, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They were being asked to do more than they could – we all have our breaking point.
Paul is correct that we “live in one of the freest countries in the world.” Judging by the huge turnout and support of the convoy, many feel that our freedoms are being threatened and that Canada will no longer be one of the freest countries. Paul is tired of a lot of people. We are all tired. I rejoice that Paul has the freedom to voice his frustrations. A silenced voice is, well, very George Orwellian.
By the way, the positive test cases seem to be dropping as fast as they rose — the first week in February was down to 17 per cent.