Truck convoy arriving in southwestern Ontario on Thursday
Matt and Tim Devereaux are sending three of their transports to Ottawa this weekend to protest mandatory vaccines for truckers crossing the border.
They say their truckers have endured a lot of the past two years and a vaccine mandate now, is just too much.
“Drivers are saying enough is enough. We know drivers that are vaccinated and they’re just saying if I have to prove I’m vaccinated to cross the border then I’m just not going to do it and retire,” says Matt Devereaux, who along with his brother, Tim, own Intermodal Heritage Freightlines in Seaforth and Paisley.
Little Rock Farm Trucking in Walkerton is sending five trucks to Ottawa, including one that reads, “This Land is our Land.”
Owners, Mark and Daniel Reuber say the truckers that worked through the worst of the pandemic are now feeling they are being told they are a danger to the public, unless they're vaccinated.
“We probably spend 60 per cent of our time trying to appease the regulations of our government, and now with this added on top, it just adds to the weight,” says Mark Reuber.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance, which does not endorse this trucking protest, estimate 85 per cent of 120,000 Canadian truckers are vaccinated, so this border mandate affects 15,000 truckers, they believe.
Little Rock and Intermodal believe the border vaccine mandate will hurt the economy.
“Every day we’re receiving e-mails saying trucks needed, trucks needed, trucks needed. Loads are not getting moved,” says Daniel Reuber.
“Everyone is going to pay for this. Supply chain, groceries. Everything you buy in the store, comes in a truck,” says Matt Devereaux.
The convoy is expected to reach southwestern Ontario Thursday morning, with a large rally expected to convene at the Flying J, south of London, at 11 a.m.
Police are warning motorists to be prepared for traffic slowdowns.
“It’s coming from Sarnia, via the 402, and Windsor on the 401, but as to how long it takes, many factors come into play. The number of participants in the demonstration and certainly the level of traffic. As we all know, the 400 series can be quite busy,” says OPP Spokersperson, Derek Rogers.
Back in Seaforth, Matt Devereaux says his three convoy trucks heading out later this week to Ottawa will all be driven by vaccinated truckers.
“For the government to say that you need to have a vaccine to cross the border, when the past two years when Covid was at it’s worst, we were allowed to do what we had to do to get things done. And now this mandate, it’s just not right,” he says.
The trucker convoy is expected to reach Ottawa and protest outside Parliament Hill by Saturday.