Canadian truckers protest vaccine mandates

Sophia Reeder, Copy Editor

Throughout February, Canadian truckers have been protesting vaccine mandates in Ottawa and border-adjacent locations. They purposefully chose key border crossings to blockade, as well as surrounding Canada’s Parliament in order to disrupt the economy, drawing attention to their causes. Many of which are anti-government and far right in nature. 

Starting February 17, Canadian police began arresting protesters. They seemed such a threat that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared a national public order emergency in Canada for a short period of time. 

“It is high time that these illegal and dangerous activities stop,” said Trudeau. 

There were protesters in large numbers, but this group does not accurately represent the entirety of Canada, nor Canadian truck drivers. Around ninety percent of truckers are vaccinated, and most Canadians express that they agree with health precautions the government has taken. 

South Asian Canadian communities have statistically higher vaccination rates than the white population of Canada. Therefore, many South Asian truckers feel quite disconnected from the causes concerning the protesters. For example, Albertan trucker Lovepreet Singh recalls missing a week of work due to the protests. Singh thinks that attention should be called to other issues in the trucking industry, such as labor conditions and wages.

“They don’t even want to listen to our opinion…. ‘Go back to your country,’ and stuff like that”, said Singh, about comments he received at work and online.