Canada’s trucker protest continues to divide opinion, and continues to cause authorities in Ottowa a major headache. And now it looks like that headache is spreading across international waters, and no one can agree on the correct remedy to placate both sides.
Fox News reports that truckers in the U.S., the Netherlands, the UK, Australia and New Zealand are all planning, or are already holding similar demonstrations to protest against what they see as curbs on their freedom introduced to slow or halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think you’re starting to see what will become a big global movement to end these mandates,” Brian Brase, co-organizer of a planned U.S. protest heading for Washington, D.C., told Fox News Digital on Sunday. “It’s a violation of your human rights to be mandated to take this vaccine. If you want it, go get it, but being mandated to get it, we’re standing up against that. We think it’s wrong.”
And today truckers from across New Zealand descended on the capital, Wellington, from both the North and South Islands, while Scottish hauliers are planning to converge on their county’s capital, Edinburgh, before driving down to London to have their say.
The Canadian protest was sparked by rules demanding drivers be vaccinated before being allowed to cross the border with the U.S., but the movement has garnered support from outside the trucking industry. Ordinary people who oppose limitations being placed on their freedom have joined the truckers and are lending support, but Ottawa’s mayor declared a state of emergency this week and police in Canada are now arresting people bringing fuel cans.
Mayor Jim Watson isn’t the only Canadian struggling to sympathise with the truckers. Many Ottowan natives have expressed annoyance at the sound of the protesting truckers’ horns. A hefty 68% of Canadians polled by Abacus Data late last week felt they had “very little in common” with the protesters.
Blocking the Ambassador Bridge could CREATE a daily SHORTAGE of about $300M goods & RAISE prices on both sides of the 🇨🇦🇺🇸border.
Brain dead move.
Thank you to 🇨🇦 WORKERS for your PATIENCE & understanding if you get temporarily laid off while we wait for PROTESTERS to grow up.
— Flavio Volpe (@FlavioVolpe1) February 8, 2022
And figures from Canada’s automotive industry have called on protesters to end their blockade, claiming it risks harming auto production at an already difficult time. Around 2.5 million trucks cross the Ambassador Bridge between Windsor and Detroit, accounting for more than 25 per cent of all goods moving between Canada and the U.S. But the bridge is currently closed due to the blockade, forcing traffic to find other means of crossing the border.
“Blockades at Canada’s borders are threatening fragile supply chains already under pressure due to pandemic related shortages and backlogs,” said Brian Kingston, CEO of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA). “We are calling on cooperation from all levels of government to resolve this situation and bring an immediate end to these blockades.”