Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Formerly Travis’ profile picture on Facebook. The bottom half of the flag he’s holding is the New Brunswick flag.
Guest ContributionsOpinion/ColumnTrucking

What Were People Thinking?

“To see people dying alone and families unable to have proper funerals was horrible. Horrible”

by Donna Laframboise

New Brunswick trucker Travis Macleod hauls sea cans – containers that get loaded directly onto ships docked in the Port of Saint John. First he fetches an empty container from the harbour, locking it onto his own chassis pulled by his own Peterbilt. Then he hauls the container to his customer where it’s filled with peat moss or other agricultural products. Back at the port, the container is transferred to a ship bound for Australia, China, Egypt.

For Travis, it’s a 400-mile (650-kilometer) round trip. On a good week another container awaits when he arrives fully loaded at the harbour. That way he isn’t driving north empty-handed while burning fuel and putting miles on his tires.

Before he got into trucking 33 years ago, Travis was a cowboy. He herded cattle, rode bulls and saddle broncs, took part in barrel races and cattle pen competitions. “I’ve been on a horse since I was three,” he says, “we’re fourth or fifth generation horse people.” Around the time I interviewed him, his Facebook profile picture showed him wearing a cowboy hat, blue jeans, boots, and a large belt buckle.

The rodeo circuit took him all through the US and Canada well before he started trucking. Over the years, he’s hauled double 53-foot trailers full of Purolator parcels from New Brunswick to Montreal. He’s hauled steel and lumber to the US, and tankers full of industrial lime to pulp mills.

Now, aged 56, he lives off-grid “up in the woods” with horses and a donkey. “I think more people need to find a simpler way. Life was so much better when it was simpler.” He’s been transitioning in that direction, he says, for years. These days he eschews white bread and brings his own jar of honey to the Tim Horton’s where we meet, adding its golden goodness to his coffee. Refined sugar is difficult for humans to digest, he insists. “So I use honey, from a local beekeeper. Our bodies are amazing if we let ’em do what they’re supposed to do.”

The COVID pandemic got Travis wondering about his fellow man. Family and friends took the vaccine so they could be with ailing relatives, he says, but ended up barred from hospitals anyway. In his words:

“I mean, anybody that can critical think knows there’s something wrong. To see people dying alone and families unable to have proper funerals was horrible. Horrible. Kids in school wearing masks in phys ed and getting detention cuz they were taking their mask off their face to breathe.

I don’t know what people were thinking that allowed this to happen.”

Story continues tomorrow

*****

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.