Renewable Farming

Canadian truckers’ “Freedom Convoy” goes global

As of Jan. 22, all non-U.S. citizens entering the U.S. from Canada and Mexico must present proof they’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Canada imposed a similar barrier Jan. 16. Supply disruptions are already rippling across North America.

In response, Canadian truckers launched a 40-mile-long convoy of trucks from Vancouver to Ottawa in protest. Now the concept is arousing enthusiasm and truck caravans in several nations. Please see the series of updates below, as the Freedom Caravan bloomed in size. The concept is emerging in the U.S., and is going global.

January 23, 2020: About 80% of cross-border trade in corn, soybean meal, hay, vegetables and other food and feed items moves by truck. However, roughly half of the American international truck drivers carry vax “passports.” Suddenly, international trade in commodities faces a major disruption. And the mandates are especially irrational, since the mRNA vaccines don’t block Covid infection or transmission of the virus.

In Canada, food wholesalers are raising prices and allocating supplies.

Cattle feedyards in drought-stricken Western Canada are running low on corn, following previous disruptions in rail shipments from America. There’s no shortage of feed grain in the U.S. — just disruption in the supply chains.

Fertilizer and ag chemical suppliers are encountering logistical hurdles, too. A local independent ag supplier here in northeast Iowa tells us, “Distributors won’t even promise to fill my glyphosate orders — at any price.”

For a detailed report of disruption in Canadian cross-border regulations, visit this link.

In Canada, truckers are organizing a “Convoy for Freedom 2022,” urging truckers to flood Ottawa with 18-wheelers and protests. Before the U.S. imposed the vax barrier, Canadian truckers clogged the Canadian side of the U.S. border at a main entry point. 

Last September, Australian truckers forced an easing of interstate vax passport barriers by briefly blockading major highways. The protest was mostly excluded from major news outlets, but officials relented.

Updates January 24, 2022:  The Wall Street Journal features a thoroughly researched report on food-distribution problems nationwide. Click on this link.

Epoch Times has a detailed report on truckers’ coordinated movements, including a $3 million fundraising effort.

Update January 26, 2022: The longest 18-wheeler caravan in world history is cruising toward Canada’s capital — aimed at hauling Prime MinisterTrudeau’s international vas-passport mandates outta Ottawa. Hundreds of American truckers are crossing the border to join their Canadian colleagues in the battle. One of the key organizers offers details on the Stew Peters show at this link.

Updates January 27, 2022: Livestock producers report that the shortage of truck transport is curbing shipment of Canadian feeder pigs into the U.S., while shipments of feedstuffs from the U.S. into Canada are falling short of needs because of the vax mandates both sides of the border.

An estimated 50,000+ 18-wheelers will impact Ottawa, backed by more than $3 million in GoFundMe contributions, in an effort to convince PM Trudeau and President Biden to discard the cross-border vax passport scheme.

On Fox News’ Ingraham Angle, former Canadian hockey star and current activist Theo Fleury tells Laura that he’s never seen so many Canadians so politically incensed… and eager to join the truckers in their protest. Apparently some 48,000 people have contributed to support of the truckers’ caravan via GoFundMe.

AgWeb editors and their sources tell how U.S. fertilizer supplies are getting hit by the vax mandates at the Canadian border.

Writing firsthand from Canada, one of our ag-related online colleagues, Susan Beal of Elmira, Ontario, has followed Canada’s Covid-19 dictats closely. Today she tracked down the truckers’ convoy and sent a group e-mail which included us. Here’s her eyewitness report:

Hey all, 

Just got back to Elmira after a day out to hunt down the truckers’ convoy and see what’s happening on the streets. Because of a lot of reasons, instead of going WSW to see if I could find them in Drumbo, I decided to go over to Guelph and then head east on the 401 from there. I ended up pulling off on the Hwy 6 exit, the road that goes south from the 401 to Hamilton, the start of the trip to Buffalo. It’s about halfway between Waterloo and Toronto. I got there just before ten. There’s a commuter parking lot there and I figured that might be a good thing, easy to park off the road etc etc etc. 
Already there were people gathered, flags and signs and cheering. There were about sixty people there, some on the overpass and some on the snowy berm that’s between the overpass and the exit ramp. It didn’t take long until there were nearly a hundred people at that exit. There were babes in arms and in slings, kids in snowsuits, toddlers, youth and every size and age of adults you might imagine. There were folks in felt pacs and bibs, others in slick britches and leather soled street shoes. Some had flags, some had signs, some had canvas paintings. Some signs were ruder than others in their wording, but for the most part, they were pretty encouraging. Lots had Tim Horton’s coffee cups. Some had lawn chairs. There were a few dogs, too, but they didn’t last long in the single-digit temp with the brisk 20mph wind and light, but steady, snow. 
People were hollering and waving, cars and light trucks and heavy trucks were honking, both on the highway and also on the overpass. It was amazing. The truckers on the road seemed really appreciative and interactive. There wasn’t a lot of news about the itinerary, but we eventually heard around noon that there had been an accident west of London (not convoy involved) that closed the road and that slowed things down. There was an ETA of 1pm now (vs the 10:30 or so of earlier in the day) and many people went back to their cars to warm up. 
People were laughing and chatting and taking photos. Kids were making snow angels in the berm. Traffic was polite on the overpass. (It’s a major road, not much room, heavily traffic exiting and entering and all that….. ) There wasn’t a face mask in sight. I can’t tell you how neat it was to see over a hundred people, all smiling and laughing and cheering and having their faces to the air. A few people, mostly younger kids, had scarves up to cut the wind. After I came back from the short time in the car, there was one guy with a “proper mask” (N95, fitted etc etc etc). He was obviously a press guy. 
After waiting another hour, I decided to do what I’d thought about doing earlier, before I headed out from Elmira: heading west, counter current to the convoy, and seeing what’s up along that route, thinking that I’d pass them as they moved east. 
Amazing to see. Every overpass had fifty to over a hundred people on it. There were people on the service roads that were close to the main highway, parked there in rows, with flags and signs and banners. Some exits had twenty or thirty vehicles parked at the on-ramp, decked out in flags and banners, apparently ready to join the convoy. I went as far west as the Flying J at the exit to Ayr before I stopped. I stopped because I was seeing lots more light trucks with signs and things, and saw a couple of heavy trucks at the fuel pumps — and the exit seemed to be a good one to get a perch and watch. I sat on the service road, right at the entry to the highway, in a row of vehicles and where I had a view of many roads. 
They convoy seemed a bit disconnected, with groups of vehicles, largely pickups, trucks with travel trailers and other lighter trucks passing at first. Then there’d be a while, then another group. Then some semis, some just the cab and some with full trailers. It was quite amazing to see. 
Even without the official convoy, the 401 was, as is usual, wall to wall trucks. They were all part of the unofficial convoy, it seemed to me. With the exception of one or two fleet trucks and all the Challenger freight line trucks, everyone was encouraging and communicative with horns and lights. 
I sat out there until  three or so. The snow was getting heavy and I had a call to take a four. I decided to ride the 401 back east before swinging north to Elmira (vs going cross country from Ayr). There had been some sort of an event and the traffic was at a first gear and need the clutch type crawl pretty quickly. I don’t know if there had been an accident, or if it was because they were trying to merge the additions to the convoy or ?? When I exited the 401, I could see at that exit a couple of cars pulled off to the side w/ OPP there…. so no real idea about what’s what w/ that. 
While I saw lots of vehicles, I’m confident that I did not see the main part of the convoy. 
For me, this was a very moving day — for a lot of reasons, many of which I haven’t figured out totally yet. I spent a lot of my drive to Guelph crying….. I think that was strength of my emotion. I also don’t feel as lonely right now as I’ve felt for the last two years. It was amazing and important to see, in real life (not on screen or in voice only), other humans gathered together, open faced and laughing, even if I don’t know any of them. 
There was a light police presence. There were two cars parked at the commuter lot, but they left within a hour of my arrival. I saw a few OPP on the highway and at one or two of the other overpasses, but it wasn’t oppressive. While the popular press seemed convinced that there would be an influx of n’er-do-wells and reprobates coming to stir trouble, I neither saw nor heard evidence of that. There were some people who had some more political placards than did others, but they were peaceful and well tempered. 
So, that’s what I know about that. I figured some of you might want to know. 

Update January 28, 2022: Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted support on his Twitter account for Canadian truckers’ “Freedom” caravan, due to arrive in Ottawa tomorrow.  He has 71 million followers on Twitter.

Updates January 29, 2022:

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson interviews a Canadian trucker on why his fellow truckers in Canada and the USA are enthused about the caravan, which arrives in Ottawa today after starting in Vancouver.

A report in the Epoch Times says USA organizers are planning a cross-country truckers’ caravan from the West Coast to Washington DC, with similar objectives: Take back basic freedoms from the politicized handling of Covid.

Scott Moe, premier of Saskatchewan in western Canada, said today that the proof of Covid vax “makes no sense” and he will end it in the “not too distant future in his province. Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta province, said he supports the truckers’ Freedom Convoy and said he plans to discuss vaccine mandates for truckers at an upcoming meeting with U.S. state governors.

Update January 30:

The Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy and thousands of supporters occupy the Capitol grounds in Ottawa. Speakers are making the point that despite a near-total media blackout across North America, alternative news sites and social media are spreading the message: End vax passports and get rid of top-down, politically driven Covid mandates.

Freedom Convoys are launching in several countries around the world this week.

Updates January 31:

Farm Journal’s Tyne Morgan offers a trucking update in the Daily Scoop.

Reclaim the Net reports an Ottawa city councilman wants to file a lawsuit confiscating the “Freedom Convoy” Go Fund Me cash.  The campaign has raised more than $9 million, of which only $1 million has been released for the truckers’ use.

Update February 1:  A comprehensive summary of the Freedom Convoy by Megan Redshaw illustrates that the Trudeau administration is seriously misreading the power and determination of people supporting relief from top-down vax mandates.

Update February 4: More than 140,000 contributors of about 10 million Canadian dollars to the Freedom Convoy learned today that GoFundMe now refuses to release funds to truckers who counted on those supporters. Further details at this link.

Update February 5: GoFundMe promised to automatically refund to donors all contributions to the trucker’s account. Originally the site said it would redirect funds to causes of its own choosing, unless donors request a refund. 

Farmers join Canadian truckers’ protest at border crossing with US