Canadian truckers who have stood their ground at the U.S.-Canada border — both physically and philosophically — have enthusiastic support from some big-rig drivers here in our country even as the police push in.
Long and short-haul truckers rolling through cities and towns in both countries perform a “sometimes dangerous, often hard” job. They deserve everyone’s respect, two trucking company employees told Fox News Digital in separate phone interviews this week.
John Brubaker, 62, of Hampton, Iowa, is a transportation supervisor for a Tennessee-based trucking company. A father and grandfather, Brubaker worked behind the wheel of a big rig for over a decade before transferring to a supervisory role.
Brubaker says Canadian truckers caught the world’s attention through their blockade.“You’ve got to be pretty smart to do that,” he said.
The Ottawa border protests began several weeks ago when truckers decided to take a stand and oppose Canada’s new rule requiring them to be fully vaccinated against COVID.
If truckers aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19, they face a two-week quarantine — an action that impacts their livelihoods and the economic supply chain, too.
On Monday, Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau invoked that country’s Emergencies Act, a rare move that gives that government temporary powers to deal with the border blockades, including using tough legal and financial measures against participating truckers.
On Tuesday, Peter Sloly, Ottawa’s police chief, resigned after criticism for failing to disrupt the “Freedom Convoy.”
Brubaker believes truckers in the U.S. would protest, too, if they were denied their freedoms.
“We live under enough rules in our industry, and we don’t want to be pushed too far,” he told Fox News Digital. “Trudeau is treating these hard-working people trying to earn a living like they’re juveniles who need to be told how to be safe,” he added.
Calling the truckers “very skilled, highly trained professionals,” Brubaker said they are the ones to know best how to take care of themselves and their families, “including their own health and safety while at work.”
“The truckers just want to be heard.”
“The truckers just want to be heard,” he noted, pointing out that virtually everything Americans eat, wear and consume — from “raw materials to finished product” — is handled by a trucker at some point.
Guido Miller is a trucker in northeastern Iowa and works at the same Tennessee-based company where Brubaker works. Married with three grown children, Miller, 52, has been trucking for 25 years.
Miller spends many hours alone behind the wheel each week and often spends the night in his rig.
“I’m in the cab of my truck driving down the road. I’m not a risk to people,” he said. “Truckers are not super-spreaders.”
Miller thinks the moves against Canadian truckers are ridiculous.
“Things are calming down with COVID — and suddenly truck drivers are a major health risk?” he said.
Miller highlighted some of the burdens he says truckers are already struggling with in their jobs. He said trucking is an over-regulated industry in both Canada and U.S., featuring “non-stop” rules, taxes and other burdens put on both companies and independent operators.
He called the current situation in Canada a “pot that’s been simmering for a while.”
The truckers are only trying to get the Canadian government to reconsider the mandate and “listen to the people it actually affects,” he said.
Noting that both countries have been dealing with coronavirus mandates for over two years now, Miller said, “In the U.S. we are finally scaling back on our own restrictions, and here comes Canada imposing these new rules on truckers, a lot of whom have been vaccinated.”
“Do it, or you’re out of business” is the message the government is sending to these hard-working drivers, Miller said.
Brubaker, for his part, highlighted the fact that truckers have already proven they care about safety.
Said Brubaker, “If they are trusted with meeting multiple safety standards every day, why can’t they be trusted to know whether they should be vaccinated?”
Both of these American trucking professionals are fully vaccinated. They want their colleagues to the north to have the personal autonomy to make their own health decisions.
Ironically, according to Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, about 90% of Canadian truckers are currently vaccinated.
Truck drivers are “independent at heart,” said Brubaker, adding that they’re freedom lovers who are willing to spend hours alone on the highway in all kinds of weather to get a delivery in on time.
“Truckers are a special breed who believe in getting things done,” he noted. “Those Canadian drivers are our big-rig brothers.”