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Have Canadians finally had enough?

The trucker protest represents a pushback against the ruling elites

Supporters of the long-haul truckers cheer on a convoy headed to Ottawa in Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, last week. Associated Press/Photo by David Jackson/The Canadian Press

Have Canadians finally had enough?

Ottawa is in the grips of a genuinely grassroots protest by Canadians who want their liberty back. Truckers are blocking roads, protesting government policy, and generally behaving peacefully. It is the middle of winter, and Canadians are acting out of character in presuming to raise their voices against their governing elites. They are even being annoying. They have clearly annoyed the prime minister.

So, what is actually happening?

Long-haul truckers who regularly cross the U.S.-Canadian border are protesting the decision of the Canadian government to force them to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or be prevented from doing their job. In a situation in which the pandemic is winding down and our economy needs all the help it can get to move goods and services across the continent, one would think the Canadian government could just leave the truckers alone.

But no, those who work from home and depend on the working classes to drive trucks and move goods from factories to warehouses to stores (and to your front door) apparently have nothing better to do than pick a fight with the very people who make their comfortable lifestyle possible.

Our cultural elites are in shock that the peasants are in revolt. So, we find them engaging in hateful stereotyping and musing about using force on peaceful demonstrators in a way they never did or would do with left-wing protesters. The media is breathlessly portraying truckers with protest signs as an existential threat to the social order. The CBC, which basically functions as the propaganda arm of the Liberal Party, is even spreading a baseless conspiracy theory that the Russians are behind the protests. The Russians? Those Russians get around, don’t they?

Our cultural elites are in shock that the peasants are in revolt.

One wonders how much longer ordinary Canadians will continue to be patronized, looked down upon, and ignored by those who think they have some sort of natural right to rule over this country by virtue of birth into the ruling elite.

It is depressing living in a country that doesn’t even have a real conservative political party. All we have is the Conservative Party of Canada, whose leader, Erin O’Toole, was quoted on Wednesday morning by The Canadian Press as saying that the protesters were motivated by “fear that the world is changing.” You would be forgiven for thinking that he sounds more like the prime minister’s assistant than the leader of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition. During the time he has served as party leader, he has earned a reputation as “Justin Trudeau–lite” with his support for abortion, homosexuality, carbon taxes, and the ban on conversion therapy. In the fall election, confronted with the options of Trudeau or an imitator, voters decided to go with the real deal (although they refused him a majority government). It is hard to know what they would have done had they been presented with an actual alternative.

By Wednesday afternoon, however, the Conservative Party caucus had voted 73-45 to remove the hapless O’Toole as leader. This was inevitable after the last election and not a response to the truckers’ protest. But O’Toole’s response to the truckers could be seen as typical of his tendency to give the back of his hand to social conservatives and anyone else who dares question the leftist consensus of the Canadian elite.

There are a few candidates who might run for the party’s leadership post and could be considered at least somewhat conservative. A couple of them actually met with truckers. Of course, a leadership contest will have to be held to determine whether the Conservative Party will be led this time by an actual conservative.

I’m not holding my breath, but we shall see. Stranger things have happened—like working-class people standing up to the government in the middle of January in Ottawa.

Craig A. Carter

Craig A. Carter is the research professor of theology at Tyndale University in Toronto, Ontario, and theologian in residence at Westney Heights Baptist Church in Ajax, Ontario.

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