Sunday, April 21, 2024
Photo: GM
Guest CommentaryTrucking

Why didn’t they talk to the Freedom Convoy?

So easy to treat the truckers like human beings rather than pond scum

by Donna Laframboise

During the Freedom Convoy protest, Janice Charette was this country’s most powerful civil servant. (This past June, someone else assumed that responsibility.) As the Tamara Lich/Chris Barber trial wraps up its second week, it’s worth revisiting Ms. Charette’s sworn testimony to the Emergencies Act inquiry.

She insisted the civil service had worked hard to resolve the three-week protest. Her instructions were “to leave no stone unturned.” She says she told her people “No idea [is] too crazy. Let’s look at absolutely everything.” She says she urged them to “Be as creative as you can. Really think outside the box.”

Yet she completely ignored the most obvious course of action – meeting with the truckers. You know, sitting down and talking to them. Listening to them. Treating them like human beings rather than pond scum.

It’s really too bad none of the lawyers asking her questions that day raised this matter point blank. I’ve described her testimony as an unintentional comedy routine. When that ridiculous-waste-of-money-posing-as-a-criminal-trial resumes next week, please keep one idea in mind: From the Prime Minister on down, officials behaved contemptuously toward this massive, wildly-popular protest.

Donna Laframboise writes a daily blog at 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.

Our federal government meets with tens of thousands of lobbyists each year. But it utterly refused to meet with the truckers. Instead, it pepper sprayed and assaulted them. Instead, it shattered truck windows and destroyed private property. Instead, it squandered many millions of dollars flying in cops from all over the country, feeding and housing them in hotels, all the while paying overtime to the cops stretched thin back home.

When I interview them, these truckers correctly point out that their extended, peaceful protest revealed the true nature of our government. Arrogant. Anti-democratic. Authoritarian.

Canada is broken.