Midwest Truckers Watching Canadian Convoy Protest Closely

Greg Bishop, The Center Square

Truckers throughout the Midwest are watching closely to see what happens with the convoy in Canada protesting that country’s COVID-19 mandates.

Large trucks are blocking main routes through Canada, and they have been parking on the streets of Ottawa since January.

Don Schaefer, executive vice president of Mid-West Truckers Association, said the ongoing “Freedom Convoy” is impacting logistics for the Midwest, especially for transporting automobile parts.

“There are a lot of other goods that are manufactured in Canada that are brought down into the United States and vice versa,” Schaefer told The Center Square. “They’re our largest trading partner.”

For the last two years, truckers faced many issues under COVID-19 mitigations. The protest was started by the Canadian mandate that truckers entering Canada must be either vaccinated, or in quarantine.

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“I’m not sure this is the way and the means that they’re going to get the issues solved, but it is bringing it to the forefront, at least,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer stated that Mid-West truckers will be closely watching the situation as a result of blocking a bridge connecting Canada and the United States.

“If you like the way the Canadian government is handling it, that’s one thing, but a lot of people feel that the administration of the prime minister has gone beyond reach, and there’s better ways to solve the issue,” Schaefer said.

Canadian authorities have reported that they have confiscated personal diesel fuel cans belonging to truckers. There’s also been issues with online fundraising efforts for the trucker protests being frozen.

GoFundMe, an online fundraiser that raised over $10 million for truckers, was attacked by critics after they claimed the money would go to another charity due to controversy around the trucking industry. GoFundMe responded to criticisms and threatened investigations by claiming it would refund the funds to original donors.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer So called on Canada to address the truck blockade on the Ambassador Bridge, citing harm to Michigan’s economy, including the automobile industry, agriculture, manufacturing and more.

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security Shorted local and state police across the country of possible trucker convoys disrupting large U.S. cities.

Schaefer said there are social media rumors of such a thing, but he doesn’t see that developing in the Midwest.

“They’re easing the masking mandates, we don’t have as strict … protocols that they’re protesting in Canada,” he said.

The Center Square permission granted this syndicated version.