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“Looking at China right now, the Truckers did Trudeau a favour; he should be grateful”

Photo: Tom McKenzie/Twitter

The column below, “What Trudeau really feared about the convoy was its organizing abilities” originally ran on the True North website on November 26th.

Since then, residents in the western world have been astonished to view images coming out of China, depicting large protests and riots in multiple cities across that nation. Chinese citizens are furious with government over its “Zero Covid” policies, which have seen residents locked inside homes and apartment buildings. In one horrific incident last week, a building caught fire and at least 10 people died as fire services were unable to reach them.

Beginning on November 29th, sources on Twitter report that Chinese drivers began honking their horns in support of protesters. Was this inspired by Canada’s Freedom Convoy? Perhaps we will know as more reports become available.

In my mind echo the words of a Toronto Taxi driver who immigrated from China some years ago: “There are millions of citizens, while the rulers are very few…how long will people take orders from these people? Why do they take orders from these people?”

Meanwhile, Dr. Martin Schuice makes what I think is a very valid point: the Freedom Convoy Truckers did Justin Trudeau a giant favour. They united millions of Canadians in a peaceful protest that was noisy at worst, but a true celebration of the Canadian Way at best. In fact, the Freedom Convoy might have done the whole world a favour.

Let’s hope!

What Trudeau really feared about the convoy was its organizing abilities

by Rita Smith

Rita Smith

Watching hundreds of hours and dozens of witnesses at the Public Order Emergency Commission may leave viewers wondering: what exactly was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s objective in evoking the Emergencies Act against the Freedom Convoy? 

After all, he could have cleared downtown Ottawa in exactly the same way the Ontario Provincial Police cleared the Ambassador Bridge, using the same legislative authority the OPP used in Windsor. Instead, he opted to freeze bank accounts, arrest organizers, and threaten truckers’ commercial insurance and vehicle registrations. 

It’s possible that in the Freedom Convoy, Trudeau’s team saw a real, growing opposition gaining support from millions of Canadian voters and taxpayers. The Convoy raised $10 million in only a few weeks; and when the government succeeded in freezing the truckers’ GoFundMe account, Convoy organizers turned around and raised millions again on the GiveSendGo platform. 

They in fact raised more money in a month than the Liberal Party raised in the entire year of 2020. That’s a frighteningly impressive fundraising ability, demonstrated by a brand-new group with no political track record. 

The truckers had more than an astonishing ability to raise funds: they also enjoyed the support of millions of Canadians. 

From sea to shining sea across Canada, bridges were full of hard-working Canadians waving flags and cheering the truckers on. In my own GTA community, the bridge over the 401 was lined with parents and kids; blue collar workers and laptop loners; our local Canada Post delivery person in her Canada Post van.

The first man I met walking from my car to the bridge was a 94-year-old Holocaust survivor; one woman drove three hours from Bancroft to be there. 

In a clever video by former Ontario MPP Rick Nicholls, he opened a brown-paper bag lunch packed by volunteers who supported the Truckers. Observed Nicolls: “Trudeau’s problem is not the truckers. Trudeau’s problem is the Canadians packing lunches for the truckers.” 

In January 2022, I interviewed Greg Lyle of Innovative Research on a survey he had just conducted with regard to the Freedom Convoy. Lyle was particularly interested in support for the truckers: “A couple of things stand out: that 31% support for the truckers’ protest is far higher than the number of people that are actually hostile or hesitant toward the vaccine, which is in the single digits.

“At 31%, you’re way, way, way above that. It’s still the minority point of view. But at 46%, there’s not a majority that oppose. It’s what we call ‘a plurality,’ but it’s not a majority.”

(Remember, Trudeau won his 2021 election with only 32% of the vote: less than one in three voters, fewer than one in seven Canadians, voted for Trudeau’s Liberals.)

In our January interview Lyle, undisputedly one of Canada’s best pollsters, made an interesting observation: “There are questions such as, ‘Is someone doing this to harvest data? So that they have a big list and no-strings-attached funding to mobilize people for the next Tory leadership, and into a government party?’

“You know, that’s a possibility. Apparently, 250,000 people signed a petition,” Lyle added.

Fast forward a few months, and Erin O’Toole, who refused to support the truckers, got booted as Conservative leader and Pierre Poilievre, who met with the truckers on the street, was in. 

I’m not saying that anyone did in fact use such a list. Just that the Liberals would have been right to be nervous about such a volume of fundraising combined with so many names coming together.

Trudeau is right to fear the truckers and the hard-working, tax-paying Canadians they represent. They may well elect the next Prime Minister, no matter what the POEC decides.