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Vaccine mandates

Even Canadians are fed up with Covid rules

Not just “right-wing Trumpians”. Minas Panagiotakis/Getty

Canadians aren’t known for their rage, says The Wall Street Journal in an editorial, which is why the week-long protests that have brought Canada’s capital Ottawa to a standstill are so striking. The unrest is being led by truckers, who are angry about a new government mandate requiring them to be vaccinated to cross back into the country from the US. (They were previously classified as “essential” workers, and thus exempt.) The anger isn’t limited to Ottawa, either: earlier this week truckers temporarily blocked the Ambassador Bridge between Ontario and Michigan – “the busiest international land-border crossing in North America”.

The Canadian left has predictably dismissed these protesters as “nothing more than right-wing Trumpians”, and plenty of commentators have noted that most Canadians don’t support the blockade. True. But the majority do share the truckers’ belief that restrictions should be lifted. And that’s the important point here. The trouble in Ottawa should serve as “a signal” to politicians across the West: people are simply “done with Covid restrictions, mandates and excessive meddling”. We have already seen similar protests over restrictions in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. And “when you’ve lost even Canadians, arguably the most law-abiding people on the planet, you’ve lost the political plot”.

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