Freedom Convoy: The Canadian Blue-Collar Revival

January 31, 2022 Updated: January 31, 2022

Commentary

A blue-collar revival  is afoot, the likes of which this country has never seen.

The Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa personifies the frustrations of Canada’s  blue-collar workforce. When the pandemic was raging these folks manned our hospitals, grocery stores, and critical infrastructure. They were the heroes of the pandemic. Two years later, those who refuse to be vaccinated are dismissed and disparaged by a federal government that seems hopelessly out of touch with the reality of working-class life.

Contrary to Justin Trudeau’s characterization, the Freedom Convoy is not made up of a “fringe minority”; rather, it is a steamrolling, well-organized display of raw Canadian blue-collar power. They are not to be trifled with, as the federal government is about to learn. The hard way.

Power to Rock the Boat

There comes a time when governments must be reminded that their proper place is as servants of the people, not as authoritarians imposing their will. Two years ago, when the pandemic weighed heavily, Canadians were willing to give the government free reign and a blank cheque to see us through.  As long as our standard of living was preserved and shelves were stocked, we were willing to hunker down and do what it took.

But the unwritten agreement was that personal liberty would be returned without delay. What began as two weeks to flatten the curve has turned into two years of perpetual lockdowns and mandates. So we find ourselves in the same position we were in at the beginning of this mess. This is glaringly obvious now and no amount of scapegoating or deflection is going to change it.

Starting with health care and federal workers, the government has taken a hard line on vaccination. Those who chose not to comply were demonized and blamed for prolonging the pandemic. From heroes to zeros, as the protest signs say. Truckers are in the same boat. The difference is that they have the means to rock the boat, and rock the boat they have. These truckers no longer believe the government has their best interest in mind and they have decided to do something big about it.

Truckers as Ambassadors

Canada has blue-collar roots. We have had our share of great politicians and cultural leaders, but much of our heritage is in the pioneering spirit of the fur trader and the indigenous stewards of the land.

These truckers are modern ambassadors of Canada’s blue-collar roots. They are kin to every tradesperson across this country and are not to be taken lightly. From the electrician and the bricklayer to the logger and miner and farmer, there is a formidable network of hard-working folk that make up this nation. These are noble professionals, even though their work is not always clean or easy, and is often dangerous.

Blue-collar workers across the country punch far above their weight. They prefer to be left alone to live their lives in peace, raising families and building communities. When that hard-earned job is threatened, they mobilize to protect their interests. What Ottawa fails to understand is that the blue-collar workers are the glue that holds this country together. They are the plumbers who unclog your drain on Christmas Eve, the linesman who restores power in the frigid depths of winter, and the truckers who deliver goods across this country, ensuring that store shelves are stacked with the necessities and niceties we take for granted.

The thing about blue-collar workers is that they get things done. They don’t deal in the abstract. They work in the immediacy of harsh reality and find a way to accomplish the task at hand. They are used to adversity and are not influenced by platitudes and empty promises.

The Freedom Convoy truckers, the men and women who made the trek across country to Ottawa in the dead of winter like a brigadier line, are the tip of a very long and powerful spear. If the federal government continues to antagonize and disparage these truckers, it runs the risk of alienating and angering the very people who keep this country functioning. As the truckers have stated, this is not about vaccination—it’s about government overreach and unjustified intrusion into the lives of the average hard-working Canadian. It is a patriotic sentiment that is rapidly gaining traction. As the convoy made its way to Ottawa, it was greeted by cheering crowds in every town and city, building momentum and goodwill with each mile.

This is the biggest challenge to government overreach by far that the country has seen since pandemic restrictions began. Not only Canada, but the entire world is tuning in to watch this workingman’s showdown with the government elite. In contrast to our federal leaders, there is no virtue signalling and grandiose talk, just courage and action.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Ryan Moffatt
Ryan Moffatt is a journalist based in Vancouver.