Monday, July 15, 2024
Attendees took advantage of the Freedom Convoy to express many of their thoughts and emotions. Photo: Donna Laframboise
Feature/ProfileOpinion/ColumnTrucking

Freedom Convoy Valentine’s Day

Photo: Donna Laframboise

Hearts, roses, and love

by Donna Laframboise

Photo: Donna Laframboise

From the earliest moments of the Freedom Convoy, hearts were a recurring motif. Members of the public held up homemade signs festooned with hearts to communicate their approval, enthusiasm, and affection.

During that cold, grey winter in which Canadian governments were becoming ever more punitive, in which large segments of the public appeared to support the targetting of a minority of the population, a beam of sunshine pierced the gloom. Massive trucks wavying Canadian flags and signs that bore the word ‘freedom’ rolled out of the fog. Lights flashed, horns sounded, and people cheered.

There’s ample testimony, plus ample photographic and video evidence, that the protesting truckers were showered with love during their time in Ottawa. Trucker O’Jay, who happens to be a Jamaican immigrant, described his convoy experience as “filled with love, unity…it was just joy.”

Stephanie Pituley, sitting behind the wheel of the truck she drove from Winnipeg to Ottawa, holds a heart-festooned drawing in this photo – on which a child has printed ‘Truckers, you are my heroes!!!” When a member of the public hands her a rose as she sits in her cab, she snaps this picture:

Photo: Donna Laframboise

On page 10 of my book, Opa’s Convoy Letters, Nancy from Quebec wishes the truckers a Happy Valentine’s Day in a bilingual letter. She says this is her second visit to Ottawa, the first of which filled her heart “with a lot of love and hope.” On this occasion, she says she’s distributing a small gift. “A great time to tell you WE LOVE YOU Convoy 2022. Happy Valentine’s Day,” she writes.


A few other examples of hearts in photos published on this blog:

  • 3 hearts are easily identifiable in this post, written by ‘Toby from Dundas’ last April
  • there’s a lovely heart here, stuck to a truck, in a post from May
  • a child in the Maritimes holds a ‘Thank You Truckers’ sign with a heart here, with additional similar signs here

*****

Donna Laframboise writes a daily blog at  ThankYouTruckers.substack.com. It 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.