Roadblocks at bridges along the Canada-U.S. border that forced the closure of a Ford plant in Ontario this week could soon spread to the southern United States, according to several truckers who spoke to the Tribune-Review as ‘they were crossing western Pennsylvania.
“I can definitely see it happening here too, and I’m okay with that to tell you the truth,” said Ty Morrison, a truck driver from Glassboro, NJ, about 20 miles south of Philadelphia.
The Canadian protest, extended until a fourth day Thursday of blocking traffic at the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ont., revolves around truckers demanding an end to that country’s Covid-19 restrictions.
“I’m saying as long as you’re vaccinated and the number of covid-19 goes down like they seem to be doing here, there’s no reason for the government to mandate the wearing of masks,” Morrison said after filling out his diesel fuel truck. at the Flying J truck stop along Interstate 70 in Smithton, Westmoreland County. “We are taxpayers and supposed to live in the land of the free. … Under these current conditions, the government should not yet tell us what to do.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended the measures that include a rule that came into effect on January 15 requiring truckers entering Canada to be fully vaccinated.
Another Garden State truck driver said he was following reports of the blockade.
“From the trucking-related sites on social media, I can tell you a lot of these truck drivers protesting out there are from the United States,” said Tyler Burr of Burlington, NJ “And they’re already talking about have a protest convoy here, and it’s getting a lot of interest from what I’ve seen.
Featured on social media sites as the “People’s Convoy,” it would start in Indio, California, possibly March 4, and head to Washington, D.C.
The US Department of Homeland Security warned this week that “an extended convoy of truckers protesting vaccination mandates” could begin this weekend in Los Angeles, where the Super Bowl will be played on Sunday, Yahoo News reported for the first time.
“But like I said, it doesn’t really affect me. I’m fully vaccinated and have been for a long time now,” Burr told the Smithton roadhouse.
In addition to the issue of vaccines, Burr said he’s seen discussions on social media that such a convoy could also be protesting the high price of diesel fuel.
Diesel fuel prices at the Flying J were $4.25 per gallon cash or $4.51 by credit card.
“I can see the protests unfolding, but I doubt I will participate in them,” he said.
Maryland truck driver Biniam Fitui, originally from East Africa, has been driving tractor-trailers in the United States for three years. He said he supported the Canadian protests.
“I think the protests that are happening are a good thing,” said Fitui, who declined to say whether he was vaccinated.
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He said he thought it was time to “roll back” the covid-19 mandates.
In addition to the closure of the Ford plant in Windsor, Ont., parts shortages caused by the blockade also forced General Motors to cancel the second shift Wednesday at its midsize SUV plant near Lansing, Ont. Michigan, according to the Associated Press.
Johnstown truck driver Todd McCullough said he was “all for the protests” against mask and vaccine mandates.
He expects protests against the trucker blockade to soon spread to the United States – “especially if we keep talking about raising taxes on diesel fuel and gasoline”, he said. he declares.
According to the AP, officials in Ontario, Canada’s largest province with nearly 40% of the country’s population, said they were sticking to what they called a “very cautious” position. to the pandemic and have no intention of abandoning vaccination passports or its mask requirements. .