We’re all about protesting when you feel it’s the right thing to do, but the new trucker convoy has led to some negative effects. And let’s get this out of the way early — there is a large portion of truckers who are vaccinated and more than willing to follow the mandates — and those who are not also have a right to protest. It can go both ways.
But, blocking major highways around Coutts border sure seems like a bad idea doesn’t it? Truckers who are vaccinated and trying to get goods to and from Alberta are now stuck as they try to do their jobs. It’s also not a great idea if a medical emergency arises as first responders can’t get through to the Village of Coutts. A peaceful protest is completely fine, but let’s do it where it makes sense. If you want to protest in front of the legislature building in Edmonton or convoy on highways — fine, but putting up a blockade is a terrible idea.
Premier Jason Kenney has come out to condemn the blockade and so too has NDP leader Rachel Notley. Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter though posted on social media he was at the protest and stated “I brought the grandkids down to the Coutts border today to show them the importance of standing up for freedom and liberty #freedomconvoy”.
With the blockade in violation of the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, why exactly is Hunter there to show support when they’re breaking the law? Kenney has yet to address Hunter’s appearance at Coutts publicly, but if he’s serious about breaking up the blockade at the border, Hunter’s appearance there should be addressed publicly.
And let’s not forget the many hateful messages and terrible antics shown across Canada during this whole saga. Canada flags with swastikas on them, confederate flags, desecrating the Terry Fox statue in Ottawa, and jumping on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the National War Memorial should be condemned. Even if you are in favour of relaxing mandates and against vaccination, if you agree with any of those actions, you’re part of the problem. There’s absolutely no room for any of that behaviour in Canada.
Again, peaceful protests are fine, but these actions suggest the exact opposite. So don’t go and say it’s been completely peaceful either. Large gatherings always bring bad eggs, no matter the protest. So while a large number may be there to peaceful protest, there are others there to do the exact opposite. If you’re at these protests, it’s on you to call out extreme behaviour whether it be racist, homophobic, transphobic, or any other unacceptable behaviour. We thank those who have; whether it be cleaning up graffiti on businesses and hotels in downtown Ottawa or protecting the Terry Fox statue. You are the protestors that matter, and that’s how we make a difference. You show that we are all Canadians at heart, and we are thankful there are people like you peacefully protesting.
We think it’s fair to say the large portion of Canadians are tired of COVID-19 and the pandemic, but unfortunately, case numbers are still causing problems in local hospitals. Kenney has already stated the provincial government will relax regulations when it’s safe to do so, but until then expect them to continue. Keeping hospitals and our health care system is still the number one goal and even if you disagree with Alberta’s approach this far into the pandemic, I think you’d be remiss not to want to protect our health care system as best as possible during this time. Accidents happen and hospitals are still needed for non-COVID related incidents and having them filled to the brim with COVID cases is not ideal, to say the least. We hope everyone agrees that hospitals and the health care system should be safeguarded as best as possible as the pandemic continues.