Coutts, Alberta convoy of families, farmers, and Truckers not afraid to work for good government
Photo: “Limited View” by Mike Murchison
An hour south from my home lies the border crossing between Coutts, Alberta and Sweetgrass, Montana. It is one of the busiest crossings in western Canada. I use it three or four times per week when I head back and forth to Idaho.
Normally, crossing at Coutts is an uneventful process. The US border agents are for the most part polite. Sometimes, they are generous with their comments and humour.
Canada Border agents are a little more business-minded, using a somewhat stern voice to ask their questions.
They ask where I have travelled; where I live; whether I’ve had the COVID vaccine. They might tell me to put on my mask. They ask if I have been in contact with anyone who had symptoms?
That’s my favorite question. How would I know who has symptoms? I spend my time alone, in a truck, for a week at a time.
On January 29, a convoy of transport trucks and other participants who are weary of all the COVID mandates gathered at the Coutts/Sweetgrass border crossing to voice their opinions and their frustrations. They miss their old lives, and the ability they had to live, love and laugh the way they used to be able to in what now seems like a million years ago.
These people didn’t gather just to protest the vaccine mandate for truckers crossing the border. No, they gathered for bigger reasons.
I know many of the people who were at the protest. They are all hard working and very tired people. Many of them are parents who have watched their childrens’ well being suffer due to restrictions.
Kids have been hit hard by the mandates, the lockdowns, the school closures, and the cancellation of their recreational sports. Their stress is showing.
My wife drives a school bus and has to stay on top of the changing restrictions and guidelines. These seem to change on a daily basis, depending on what comes out of the mouth of the Mister of Health.
I cross the border at Coutts multiple times per week. For years, I have crossed paths with many of the people who are now protesters. I know that these are good people. There are no “fringe extremists” here; these protesters are just hard-working drivers and their families.
At Coutts, many farmers and residents from the surrounding area have come out to support the protesters. Southern Alberta is an area dominated by agriculture: wheat, cattle, potatoes, corn, we grow it all here. It is Canada’s bread basket. Work days are long. Winters are brutal and the wind can be merciless.
I have worked along side some of the protesters over the years and I can assure you this: these people work hard. They are proud people, dedicated to their families, their jobs, their freedom to practice their faith and beliefs. They are dedicated to their way of life, on and off the road.
I am proud to have worked, laughed and worshipped alongside many of the people who are protesting at the Coutts border crossing today.
Canada’s west has always had its differences with Ottawa. People in the west feel isolated, misrepresented and are often only shown interest when oil revenues are up. Each election brings whispers of “western separation” simply because, more often than not, people do not feel the views of the west are not represented in the nation’s capital.
Looking at the turnout of truckers, protesters and supporters in Southern Alberta this weekend (as well as those in Edmonton and Regina) I think it is safe to say that these people do not believe the federal government is reflecting the views of any Canadian currently, regardless where they live.
Just look into the eyes of the kids affected by these mandates. Look into the eyes of the protesters, their families and supporters. Not just here in Alberta, but across the country. They are tired, and frustrated.
They were brought up to believe that Canada’s Constitution enshrines a framework which ensures “peace, order, and good government.”
It seems to me that through these convoys and these gatherings, that’s just what Canadians are looking for: good government.
They aren’t finding it; that’s why they’re protesting.
This is a country full of good people, dedicated and compassionate. They are hard working. Now, they are demanding the good government they believe is their birthright, and they are not afraid of the work that will be required to restore it.
“It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and House of Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order, and good Government of Canada…” --Distribution of Legislative Powers, Powers of the Parliament THE CONSTITUTION ACTS, 1867 to 1982