Freedom Convoy of Truckers

freedom convoy of truckers

The freedom convoy of truckers is making its way to downtown (the nation’s capital) Ottawa right now. Momentum is snowballing (pun intended as Ottawa has lots of snow) as it rolls along. The problem is it remains to be seen if this momentum will be a good thing or a nightmare.

Regardless, history is in the making, and people are flocking to see it happen. Mind you, we are not allowed to do much else these days, so the mounting excitement may be contagious to some, but I digress.

freedom convoy spectators

Original Intent of the Freedom Convoy

The convoy was a peaceful protest, initially. The Liberal government suddenly removed the exemption on vaccinations for truckers traveling between Canada and the USA. In the middle of the highest inflation rate in years to boot. And, very close to the scheduled date for lifting pandemic restrictions. Why now?

Most Canadians agree that truckers are essential to the maintenance of our economy. Unfortunately, the pandemic tanked our economy. That being said, it made sense that truckers were exempt from vaccinations; they rarely come into contact with other citizens.

What Happened to Those Good Intentions?

Well, that depends on who or what you believe.

Many believe that citizens of any democratic society have the right to decide if they wish to be vaccinated. And, that their jobs should not be jeopardized for refusing to get vaccinated. To them, we should be free to choose without facing discrimination or restrictions. In other words, democratic governments don’t order vaccines mandates.

Freedom or Responsibility?

Right off the bat, these views are considered selfish. They erode support from many believing vaccines are not about protecting your own rights but supporting the health of others. Less selfish, they get vaccinated to protect the elderly, immunocompromised etc. If you don’t want to get vaccinated or don’t believe in them, stay home. In short, get vaccinated or suffer the consequences.

Health care workers were mandated to receive their vaccinations or face losing their jobs in several provinces. So why should truckers receive exemptions? I’m sure the exhausted nurses and doctors would love to protest their mandates. The problem is that they don’t have the time or energy to do so. Actually, some did, but not to this extent. They certainly didn’t have much support from the general public.

freedom convoy

Covid Fatigue

Then you have the group of citizens sick of the restrictions imposed by our government. Who isn’t tired of this pandemic and its rules you ask? Well, everyone pretty much is sick of them, but some are more willing than others to risk the perceived consequences.

freedom convoy

The willingness to conform to government mandates or lack thereof is what is dividing the country.

Media Attention on the Freedom Convoy

Organizers of the Freedom Convoy believe that the media is not sharing all the facts. This belief is in fact now inflammatory. The movement is being promoted within the media as an anti-vax, anarchist, potentially hazardous movement. A Go Fund Me account in their support is apparently inappropriate.

Disputing the Media

This quote, disputing this representation, is from a Toronto trucker:

The trucking convoy is NOT anti vaccination. It is anti government mandates. Many of us are vaccinated. Truckers will NOT block emergency vehicles at any point, ever, and will even assist any person in need at any point in the convoy or protest. Safety plans are in place. Drivers have been briefed and signed documents at their respective checkpoints. – The money raised (now over $4,000,000) will be distributed following a a strict procedure. Drivers must register, check in with their respective road captains and submit receipts in order to be reimbursed. All remaining funds will be donated to a Veterans Association in Canada. There is a lawyer and accountant overseeing this. – This could be the single largest protest in Canadian history. People who oppose government mandates are not the tiny group that the media has tried to make us believe.

Government Reactions

Trudeau claims only a small “fringe” minority of Canadians are involved in the freedom convoy and the movement it represents. Thousands of people contradict this claim though. The routes of the truckers are lined with cheering supporters. Not to mention the millions of dollars raised so far.

Government officials stand firm on the stance that truckers must now be vaccinated. It will be interesting to see if any of them meet with the protesters. Meanwhile, our MIA prime minister is the butt of many jokes. Apparently, he is (coincidentally) isolated at his Quebec cottage after a covid exposure. Isolating or hiding?

The Downside of Large Protests

All roads into and around Ottawa will no doubt be bottlenecked for several days. Hopefully, emergency vehicles will be able to maneuver through the chaos as needed.

In addition, large protests attract media and attention-seeking groups. Anti-vaxxers, anarchists, radicals, and the like are now on the bandwagon.

Remember the chaos at the Capital in the USA recently? It should be worrisome that violence may erupt at this demonstration.

Violence will swallow up any peaceful, honorable intentions. As a result, an “I told you so” will reverberate across the country.

This opinion belongs to Elon Musk:

What is your take?

Canada Going to Pot Today

pot plant

Canada is going to pot, literally.  Personally, I have thought so since our last (2016) federal election, but that’s another story.

Today, October 17th, 2018, Canada is legalizing marijuana, much to the chagrin of many citizens.  This was an election promise our prime minister made to win votes from the younger age group.  He’s now making good on that promise with as much thought and preparation (not much) as many other ridiculous and ill-advised things he is responsible for.

AKA pot, weed, or cannabis, marijuana can now be smoked anywhere (with few exceptions) regular cigarettes are allowed.  Users are supposed to act responsibly.  Parks, arenas and recreational centers are pot-free, but this will be very difficult to enforce.  As will driving under the influence of pot if roadside testing is as inefficient and flawed as rumored.   So difficult in fact that the mayor of Ottawa predicts legalizing pot will cost the city (at least) a cool 8 million dollars per year.  The federal government has created (another) the mess but is leaving the municipalities to deal with the fallout.  Great, just what this country needs, more examples of how to fritter away the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

Hoping to remove the (still) illegal street sources, the new laws say brick and mortar stores must apply for a license to sell pot.  These licenses will not be available until spring, so these stores currently open for business must close their doors and reopen when they have been granted a license.  Those that do not close while waiting for their license will be shut down by authorities and will relinquish their right to ever obtain such a license. Until then pot is only available (legally) through government-run facilities.  Yep, that will eliminate the illegal sources. Not.

So, who wins with this new legislation?  The group of individuals that already (not so covertly) smoke pot recreationally.  Partakers have been asked to “use pot responsibly.” The problem is (or will be) that this group of people is not typically recognized for being responsible or their sensitivity to other people’s concerns, more focused on their own wants and needs.  Who cares if pot has been proven to adversely affect the health of children, pets, and anyone else with a set of lungs? Not them.

Who loses?  Anyone that prefers and strives to keep their own and their loved ones’ lungs smoke and drug-free.  And the taxpayers who are left holding the bag.  This YouTube video by Bryan Cox and Jason Leblanc is one of those funny/not funny things.  You either laugh or cry.

Humboldt Broncos Tragedy rocks Canadians

The Humboldt Broncos tragedy has rocked Canadians this week. Regardless of whether you are a fan of hockey, this story cannot help but move you. The accident between a bus loaded with young hockey players and a truck loaded with peat moss was a hockey parent’s worst nightmare. The parents, families, and friends of the 15 victims of the accident are all currently living that nightmare. The rest of us can only shudder in horror imagining how unbelievably awful this past week must have (and continues to be) been for them.

Whether you live in a large city or a small town in Canada, hockey cannot help but touch your life. After all, hockey is Canada’s sport. Whether you play, watch, coach hockey, serve as team trainer or manager, your involvement in hockey means you love the sport and cannot help but get emotionally involved with your team.

The hockey community is very tight across Canada.  Whether we know them personally or not, we all cheer for and keep track of our hometown kids as they grow up and follow their dream to play in the big league.  We celebrate and share their victories and achievements.  This week we mourn the loss of these talented, hard-working, ambitious, young athletes and the adults with them as the Humboldt Broncos team traveled together on their final hockey road trip.

As the country watches, listens, and mourns, Canadians and others around the world have stepped up to show their support for the Humboldt Broncos team.  A Go Fund Me account has raised over 9 million dollars to date to help the families of the victims.  Professional hockey teams and players have offered their condolences. Families are leaving hockey sticks and lights on at their front doors.  Students and parents alike are wearing jerseys to school and work.

Humboldt Broncos tragedy
Nokia Kanata on Jersey Day

As difficult as this Humboldt Broncos tragedy has been to watch unfold, the heartfelt response has made me (even more) proud to be Canadian!

Upcoming Election Scares Me

I do not usually get into discussions about politics as I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions; after all, we do live in a free country.  With the upcoming election here in Canada, I worry that people have voted and will vote on candidates for the wrong reasons.  It scares me that people are willing to lose everything we, even the unpopular Stephen Harper, have all worked hard for.

I was not raised with a silver spoon in my mouth.  I was taught to work hard for my success, earn my living accordingly and save for my retirement.  I was also taught not to live beyond my means.  In other words, if I can’t afford something, I do without and certainly don’t use credit to buy it.  If I do use credit, it is used sparingly and paid off each month so that no interest is accumulated.  It scares me that people think that the 27 million dollars of taxpayers’ money paid daily for interest on the Ontario deficit is acceptable.  It scares me that the Liberal and NDP candidates think a similar approach for Canada is acceptable and necessary to grow the economy.

It scares me that our once envied health care system is going down the tubes.  The eHealth scandal created by the Liberal government has created massive job losses and salary cutbacks to our health professionals and funding cutbacks for the operation of our Ontario hospitals.  These highly trained professionals will not have much choice but to take their expertise elsewhere. I worry that as I get older and need increased healthcare, it will not be available.  This Liberal approach scares me. Their costly scandals will ruin the country as they are ruining Ontario. The promises made to ensure a win in this upcoming election are dangerous. 

I was taught too that you should be able to afford to raise children if you choose to have them.  I think Canadians should choose and pay for their own children’s daycare, sporting activities etc.  I think welfare should be for those temporarily out of work through no fault of their own.  Welfare was not meant to increase the number of children in a family, increase the social status of a family or stretch over several generations. It was developed to help people in a crisis situation, temporarily.

I was also taught that “good looks will get you the first 5 minutes, after that you are on your own”  What this meant to me is that if you are qualified for a job and good at what you do, it should not matter what you look like.  If your appearance or your last name gets you an interview (or party nomination) it’s what you do afterward that counts.  Who really cares, or who should care that Harper buttons and unbuttons his suit coat over and over?  Who cares, or who should care which politician has the nicest hair?  Who really cares if Trudeau wins he will be one of the youngest to do so?  Who wants the life of the party or a smooth-talking, pot-smoking, pretty boy running our country?

This upcoming election (or any election for that matter) is not a beauty or popularity contest.  It should be about who can best run this great country we live in so that we continue to prosper.  I want to enjoy my retirement without worrying that Canada is in trouble.  I hope I have taught my children the above lessons I learned from my parents.  I want them to work hard for their achievements, but I want them to have a fighting chance that their hard work will pay off for them.

I have voted for Stephen Harper in the past and will vote for him again.  Is he perfect?  Absolutely not.  Does he come across as arrogant and smug?  Sometimes.  Do I always agree with or like his actions and decisions? No, not always.  Does his resume say he has the necessary experience for the job?  Yes, it does.  Does he make tough decisions based on what is best for Canadians and Canada?  I believe he does; that’s why he gets my vote.

upcoming election