Gladu calls on PM to meet with truck convoy

Sarnia Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu and Portage—Lisgar MP Candice Bergen, who became the Conservative's interim leader, pose for a photo with some of the protestors.

Sarnia-Lambton MP believes Trudeau deliberately trying to damage the nation’s economy

Sarnia-Lambton’s MP says the Prime Minister should be meeting with some people involved in the Truck Convoy in Ottawa.

Last weekend, Ottawa Police estimated 8,000 people both truck drivers and their supporters, converged on Parliament Hill in what was billed as a protest against vaccine mandates for truck drivers. The Canadian Trucking Association says about 90 per cent of drivers are fully vaccinated and can travel to the US unimpeded. But Conservative MPs charge the 10 per cent who could lose their jobs and that will cause supply chain issues. Gladu, in a social media post, said Canadians would have a hard time finding food to eat in the future because of the mandates. Canada and countries around the world have been dealing with shortages for over a year due to COVID-19 problems like lockdowns and staffing shortages.

As the protest unfolded, disturbing elements came to light. Pictures showing protestors carrying Confederate and Nazi flags hit social media channels. There were videos of people dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – a move widely condemned by many military groups including the Royal Canadian Legion – and another of the statue of Terry Fox dressed as a protestor.

Also concerning was a manifesto from the organizers of the rally who stated the goal of the campaign was to remove the prime minister from office. Flags bearing Justin Trudeau’s name and expletives could seen everywhere.

The protesters faced opposition from people who live downtown, as the big rigs blew their horns for hours on end, a practice that continued into Thursday.

MP Marilyn Gladu lives not far from where the protest took place. “I experienced a whole weekend, 40 hours of continual honking. And obviously, the congestion is gridlock. They’ve got room for emergency vehicles to pass and that’s it, a lot of roads are blocked off.”

Gladu and other Conservative MPs, including now deposed leader Erin O’Toole, talked with the protestors over the weekend. Gladu posted a photo on social media showing herself, MP Candice Bergen – the new Conservative leader – and two of the protestors having dinner.

Gladu has said for sometime the vaccine mandate for truck drivers is not making a difference in the fight against COVID-19. She wants the prime minister to work with the US President, Joe Biden, to remove the requirement on both sides of the border.

And she’s calling on Trudeau to meet with the protestors. “I think the Prime Minister does need to listen to the concerns of the truckers and get engaged to end this protest. Because for the downtown, folks that live there, and certainly the cost to the City of Ottawa is becoming untenable,” she says adding “some of them are not trying to overthrow the government.”

“A lot of the people that are involved in the demonstration are just people, truckers that have lost their jobs due to the mandates and I think those are the people that the Prime Minister should listen to. I think that would go a long way. …there’s an opportunity to at least say, ‘look at let’s have a dialogue.’ And that I think would go a long way to taking the temperature down on this, because the longer this goes on, we’re starting to see, police incidents. It’s becoming an unlawful protest. And I certainly don’t support unlawful protests, I support peaceful protest.”

“The fact that people are saying bad things about you and using expletives is not new and as a prime minister, you’ve got to be the adult in the room.

“I would have recognized early on that this had the potential to be very bad. I certainly never would have allowed them to park their trucks and block the main streets of Ottawa.”

Gladu says Trudeau should talk to those with the extreme views. “I have people that I’m talking to on the phone that have extreme views. As a as the leader of the country, you need to be able to hear from people not necessarily agree with them, but figure out what is it going to take to resolve the thing for the peace of the nation, for the peace of the city.”

Gladu added she believes the prime minister “is deliberately disrupting our economy. He’s had all the reports of the fact that our supply chains being impacted…that will have an impact, it will cause shortages of products, which causes the price to go up.

“And I’m already receiving calls from people that can’t afford to eat … they’re losing their homes… I’m very concerned when I see all these things, and I see him controlling the message in the media, I see him taking all these positions that are dividing the country, frankly, we’re divided east west divided across race divided, on these mandates, so I think no one can be that bad of a manager, it has to at some point be deliberate?”

While Gladu called for Trudeau to talk to the protestors and drop vaccine mandates to end the standoff, Ottawa Police suggested the military may have to get involved.

Trudeau, at a virtual news conference, said “One has to be very, very cautious before deploying military in situations engaging Canadians. It is not something that anyone should enter in lightly, but as of now, there have been no requests and that is not in the cards right now.”

He added he has no plans to end vaccine mandates and said people voted for parties that supported mandates.

“So having a group of people who disagree with the outcome of an election, who want to go a different way and bring in an alternative government is a non-starter in a responsible democracy.”