Monday, July 15, 2024
Photographer Seth Vane Photo: Donna Laframboise
Feature/ProfileGuest ContributionsTrucking

Convoy photographer got $1600 ticket in the mail after being turned back at the Quebec border

Photographer Seth Vane’s one-minute Freedom Convoy video. Vane says he was fed, hugged, and warmly welcomed by “people that I never met in my life.”

by Donna Laframboise

Award-winning photographer Seth Vane came to Canada in 2013, after being raised in Bulgaria and spending five years in Italy. He currently lives in Toronto.

During the pandemic, he was keen to observe what was going on across the country. In an interview last June with Live From the Shed, he talks about traveling to Montreal in 2021 to photograph an anti-lockdown protest:

“They stopped us actually before the Quebec border. They asked for identification, we provided it. They came back and said, ‘Unfortunately, we cannot let you in. If you try to enter again, you’re gonna be arrested.'”

After his vehicle turned around, he says he was escorted for some distance by a police car. That’s how totalitarian things got. That’s what Canada became.

The wasted round trip, involving 10 hours of driving, was bad enough. But later, he received a $1600 ticket in the mail. For having attempted to cross a provincial border. “I obeyed the police order,” he says. “I didn’t even argue with them.”

When the Freedom Convoy arrived in Ottawa, Seth was there early enough to witness police officers telling trucks where to park on Wellington Street, right in front of the Parliament buildings. Throughout the next three weeks, he says he was “fascinated to meet people from all across the country. And people who love their country. You meet a stranger on the street and they talk to you…for half an hour in a conversation…I kind of believe that was the true Canadian people that we saw there…”

Since a “big portion” of the truckers he met in Ottawa were immigrants, he calls racism allegations “strange” and “bizarre.” On the streets, he says, there were people talking different languages – Spanish, English, Serbian, Russian – all kinds of different groups of truckers who were against [COVID restrictions], they were there. And then on top of that you have tens of thousands of Canadians from all corners of the country…people coming there with their families, their children.”

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Donna Laframboise writes a daily blog at  ThankYouTruckers.substack.comIt is a first draft of her upcoming book that focuses on interviews with Freedom Convoy truckers. She is a former National Post and Toronto Star columnist, and a former Vice President of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.