Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have prompted the truckers protesting the vaccine mandates for their industry. Over 80 percent of the truckers are vaccinated, so the protesters are part of not just the minority, but the fringe of a minority. In Canada, however, these truckers are radically unpopular, even among conservatives.
Speaking to MSNBC on Monday, Canadian reporter Stephen Marsh explained that the conservative politicians dipped their toes in the debate, but quickly pulled out because Canadians are furious with the truckers clogging their streets and creating noise all through the night.
The emergency measures that the leaders are enforcing now came from a 1970 response to Quebec terrorism and hasn't been used since.
"It's extremely severe," Marsh explained. "The government is going to suspend people's accounts without court orders. You're going to be able to use the military, and it is a very dramatic moment where essentially the powers that be are saying the police and the ordinary course of democracy require backing up by the military. That's not something you ever want to see happen in your country."
Meanwhile, in the United States, far-right conservative anti-vaccine activists have been aghast that somehow the rights of these truckers are being violated. However, with the overwhelming majority of Canadians, it's their own rights that are being trampled by these truckers, like the right to get to work or the right to sleep without people laying on their car horns all night outside your window.
Marsh said that after speaking to the protesters, he learned that they have no real organizational structure or political program.
"It's just disruption for its own sake," he said. "I think it is nothing more than a temper tantrum. Their political goals is the end of all public health mandates and Canada. It's never going to happen. The resignation of Justin Trudeau. I saw a lot of impotent rage. And of course, it's become very clear, recently, that a lot of this is just political spillover from the United States and the toxicity of American discourses sort of taken a foothold in Canada. It's very ugly."
Trudeau may be the villain of the far-right in the U.S. but in Canada, Marsh said he'd be elected in a landslide.
"What's become very clear recently is just how foreign this is," he continued. "Less than 30 percent of the funding for this has come from Canadian sources. The border guards have been turning away truckers from the United States that are coming in. A huge amount — obviously the rhetoric is largely American. It really did get to a point where you are seeing foreign interference in Canadian domestic politics and crippling economies. But also destroying the lives of ordinary citizens in neighborhoods in Ottawa, who've been unable to put their children to sleep for two weeks. The Canadian people's tolerance is over. The patience has worn thin. It's over now."
He explained that a "very few" conservatives "flirted" with the idea of supporting the truckers in the way that Cruz, Hawley and Paul have. They have now all backed away from it.
"It is massively unpopular. Also, I think that is sort of unfair. I think Canadian conservatives have really kept their integrity and kept their decency and they do not want disorder for disorder's sake. Certainly, it is definitely true that -- Ted Cruz is way more insidious than any Canadian conservative politician, certainly, someone like Doug Ford in Ontario has taken very firm steps to disrupt the financial networks of this group. I think it would be fair to say that Canadian conservatives are opposed to this. In a broad sense. I think that's something that actually is very important for our country. Very important."
See the discussion below:
Canadian conservatives want nothing to do with the trucker protestwww.youtube.com