A convoy of Canadian truckers and their supporters arrived in Ottawa this past weekend to protest the nation’s vaccine mandates. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the nation’s capital to show their support for the “freedom convoy.”
The convoy started with a focus on the mandates facing truckers but has morphed into an overall concern for the cause of freedom in Canada.
Matthew Mannucci has lived in Quebec for 32 years and believes that Canadians have been increasingly oppressed over the past two years. Mannucci is not a trucker, but he supports the convoy and what it stands for.
“The last line was crossed for the truckers in particular when our federal government, headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decreed that they would no longer be able to continue working without proof of vaccination,” Mannucci told The Lancaster Patriot. “While the truckers are 85% to 90% vaccinated last I heard, they recognize it as their duty to stand up for the other 10-15%. They also recognize that Canadians in general are tired and frustrated from being told for two years that if we comply with these tyrannical mandates, our freedom and rights will be given back to us, only to have these restrictions instead tightened even more.”
Mannucci said the truckers are taking a stand not only for Canadian truckers but also, more broadly, for all Canadians. The public response has been overwhelmingly positive, Mannucci said.
“Despite our Prime Minister’s comments that the convoy was made up of and supported by a ‘fringe minority,’ the reality is every bridge, town and overpass across the country is packed to the brim with supporters holding up signs and cheering as the trucks drive through,” Mannucci said. “It has been encouraging, as we have been heavily suppressed online and by media. We all knew there were more out there who thought like us, but I hadn’t imagined it was this many. I think Canadians just needed someone to step up and lead. The moment someone did, the whole country just seemed to jump on board. It’s pretty incredible to watch.”
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) issued a statement that it “does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges.”
“The vast majority of the Canadian trucking industry is vaccinated with the overall industry vaccination rate among truck drivers closely mirroring that of the general public,” the statement reads. “Accordingly, most of our nation’s hard-working truck drivers are continuing to move cross-border and domestic freight to ensure our economy continues to function.”
A vaccine mandate for truckers crossing the US-Canada border initially sparked the nation-wide protest.
“The Government of Canada and the United States have now made being vaccinated a requirement to cross the border. This regulation is not changing so, as an industry, we must adapt and comply with this mandate,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated.”
Sheldon Andreas is a pastor and trucker who took part in the convoy. He cites a stifling of freedom in Canada as the main reason for his involvement. “You can’t even go into a grocery store without getting into an argument about a mask,” he told Tucker Carlson of Fox News.
Andreas is prepared to face the consequences of his peaceful protest.
“Some of my friends have been arrested for pastoring their churches,” he told Carlson. “We’re fully prepared to smile and push through for the greater good, Tucker. We want to see Christ glorified in the church and out of the church, so we’re pushing forward, come what may.”
Andreas said the mainline media’s coverage of the event has been shameful, including misrepresentation of many of the protestors.
Andreas and Mannucci both cited their Christian faith as part of the reason for their opposition to tyrannical governments.
Mannucci told The Lancaster Patriot that “the Historical Canadian understanding of civil law, individual human rights, proper functions and limitations of civil rulers, religious freedoms, and general obligation to our fellow man comes explicitly from a Christian Heritage and from Biblical Law.”
Canadian’s motto is “A Mari Usque Ad Mare,” which is officially translated as “From Sea to Sea” and “D’un océan à l’autre.” The phrase comes from the Latin translation of Psalm 72:8 in the Bible.
“Psalm 72 is a Psalm entirely dedicated to the reign and rule of Christ over all political rulers on the earth from east to west, from sea to sea,” Mannucci told The Lancaster Patriot. “As a Christian, who is within the reformed historic Christian school of thought, when I see fellow Canadians uphold these explicitly Christian principles that our great country was founded on, I want to support and promote that in any way I can.”