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WAGNER: Alberta’s social conservatives should be afraid of an NDP return to power

When it comes to education policy in Alberta, the NDP is adamant that only one view of sexuality will be represented – and it’s not the traditional Christian view – even in schools that were founded with a specifically Christian purpose.




The increasing possibility of a NDP electoral victory in 2023 should keep conservatives in Alberta awake at night. Much will be at stake if the ‘progressives’ come back to power.

Social conservatives in particular have a lot to lose, especially with regards to education policy. One of the most acrimonious issues during the NDP’s term in government concerned gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in schools. Most noteworthy, a number of private religious schools were on the verge of losing their government funding and accreditation for failing to explicitly embrace GSAs within their school policies. Only the election of Jason Kenney’s UCP saved these schools. On this file, the NDP is likely to pick up where it left off once back in office.

Discussions of this issue have been fraught with misinformation. The NDP and its supporters have portrayed their GSA policies as the one and only way to keep vulnerable students safe in schools. Thus, they imply, anyone with a different view is malevolent, is homophobic, and obviously wants to hurt kids. There’s a strict binary choice at work in the messaging: endorse the NDP’s solution or be labelled a very nasty person. There’s no other possibility. Most of the mainstream media has followed this NDP talking point to the letter.

The fact is, though, private Christian schools are formed and maintained only at great sacrifice by those involved. The parents pay extra fees to have their children attend these schools, and school employees often take lower salaries in order to serve in a religious educational mission. These are people who are making extra sacrifices — often at great personal cost — because they believe a particularly religious environment is what’s best for their children. The idea that they do all this and yet want to hurt kids is absurd.

But according to NDP propagandists, private schools with openly Christian statements on the nature of marriage and sexuality are harmful to vulnerable children. This was the basis of their demand to remove Christian doctrinal statements from school policies. Naturally, such doctrinal positions did not align with many of the social-justice identity politics of the NDP’s ideological makeup. Thus, they had to be forcibly removed.

When it comes to education policy in Alberta, the NDP is adamant that only one view of sexuality will be represented — and it’s not the traditional Christian view — even in schools that were founded with a specifically Christian purpose. The message was explicit: conform to the NDP’s ideology, or close. No diversity of opinion allowed.

As Donna Trimble put it so well at the time: “These schools have two choices. One is they strip their schools of any faith-based perspectives in their safe and caring policies in order to satisfy the government’s demands, and then they are giving up the very foundation and reason for their existence, or, two, they are shut down for their refusal to do so.”

And as Calgary Herald columnist Licia Corbella added, “Perhaps that’s the NDP’s ultimate goal? No choice, no diversity. Just NDP beliefs taught in Alberta.”

Of course, Jason Kenney put an end to the imposition of NDP ideology onto private Christian schools once he took power by passing Bill 8 — the Education Amendment Act — which rolled back the most authoritarian aspects of the NDP’s GSA program.

However, there were other facets to the GSA issue that he left in place, contrary to the wishes of many UCP members. At the UCP convention in Red Deer in May 2018, 57% of delegates voted in favour of parents being notified if their children joined a GSA. But Kenney opposed the resolution and said, “Guess what, I’m the leader. I get to interpret the resolution and its relevance to party policy…I hold the pen.” It did not become policy.

Some parental rights activists have not given up on this issue, however. One group, Bill 10 Court Challenge Organization, has continued to lobby UCP MLAs to strengthen parental notification provisions. It also promotes a petition encouraging the government to amend legislation so that children under 16 must obtain parental permission to join a GSA.

If and when the NDP comes back into power, the GSA issue will once again become front-page news. The acrimony of the NDP’s previous term will return with a vengeance — not because kids are being harmed — but because the NDP cannot tolerate any private Christian schools upholding a traditional perspective on sexuality. Ideological conformity is a central principle of “progressive” thought. This time, the non-government schools will not escape defunding and loss of accreditation.

With most of the mainstream media cheerleading the NDP on this issue as before, social conservatives will again be widely portrayed as sinister throwbacks of the Dark Ages, and their influence in Alberta society will decline even further. The election of an NDP government will not be pleasant for any segments of the province’s conservative/libertarian coalition, but the social conservatives have the most to lose.

Looking towards 2023, it seems like darkness is approaching.

Michael Wagner is a columnist for the Western Standard

Michael Wagner is a Senior Alberta Columnist for the Western Standard. He has a PhD in political science from the University of Alberta. His books include 'Alberta: Separatism Then and Now' and 'True Right: Genuine Conservative Leaders of Western Canada.' mwagner@westernstandardonline.com

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  1. Lisa

    December 1, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Several of the writers here recommended homeschooling as an option to avoid the indoctrination that exists in the school system. As a current homeschooling parent, I completely agree with that. What some people may not be considering though is if the NDP get in again, I do not doubt for a minute that they would consider banning or severely restricting homeschooling. Think it couldn’t happen…look at France right now.


  2. John Lankers

    December 1, 2021 at 8:50 am

    What Alberta needs the most right now is a rock solid constitution to keep the extremists in check.

  3. Mars Hill

    December 1, 2021 at 12:12 am

    On the surface of the article it’s spot on….but in a very short time… MSM will be dead…corrupt elections will be done…Kenney is a weak individual and cabal compromised, I say he’ll be gone and the ‘right’ will win the next provincial election…the NDP under Notley will make a good opposition, they’ll help us strike a healthy balance and prevent an ideological ‘backlash’.

  4. Dennis

    November 30, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    The Old Boys Club (UCP & NDP) party’s have to go. It’s time for a new grassroots party that has meaningful recall in it’s strategy to hold government accountable to the people who elected them and a mandate to make Alberta Independent from a dysfunctional constitution.
    Go to wildrosenation.com to buy your membership, make a donation (victory costs money) and get involved with your local CA.
    Unless of course your satisfied with the inept, corrupt and unaccountable excuse for a government we have had for the past decade or more. There is a choice!

  5. Illusion

    November 30, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Non-Compliant Alberta Separatist, you are so right. The primary issue in 2023 is eliminating mass voter-fraud. The rigged opinion polls that show Notley near 50% are complete garbage, In reality Notley might be somewhere around 35%. That said, remember that they wouldn’t be rigging opinion polls this way unless they had a plan to also rig election outcomes. Dominion voting machines were used in the last AB Municipal election and these results were highly suspicious, in my view. we need to apply major pressure here, the WIP does not have a chance in 2023 unless we can do something to address the underlying fraud issues that exist in our electoral system.

  6. James Taylor

    November 30, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    The UCP has done nothing to thwart the sexualizing of children in Public Schools under the branding of “Social-Emotional Learning or SEL” and “Comprehensive Sexual Education”.
    They are complicit in letting Marxist academics hijack the learning and sexualizing YOUR children, to destabilize them as indiviudal and render them formable into “revolutionaries”.
    Think I am being hyperbolic? Well look up the 2019 paper is called “Queer futurity and childhood innocence: Beyond the injury of development” by Hannah Dyer of Carleton University. — these piece of “scholarly” nonsense is exactly what they are trying to do to our children in public schools funded by our tax dollars.
    There is no reforming these schools, do what you need to do to educate them outside this system. Homeschooling has been one of the best decisions we have made.

  7. John Galbraith

    November 30, 2021 at 11:09 am

    The best solution to failed public schools is home schooling

  8. Barbara

    November 30, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Why? Kenny does what Notely wants anyway. The UCP AND THE NDP HAVE BECOME ONE AND THE SAME.

    WHAT Conservatives need to do is stop wishing for thins to get better with the UCP, (they won’t) and sign up with the Wildrose Party. The UCP IS CORRUPT. It cannot be fixed. They follow MSM polls blindly and are afraid of Notely.

    They are corrupt cowards and need to go. If we vote for them again then We are the Problem.

  9. Leslie Solar

    November 30, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Time for the Old Guard of the UCP to announce their coming retirements. And time for normal albertans to get onto their Wildrose Constituency Associations. The consensus developing here is correct.

    The NDP has always had a presence in Alberta, particularly in Edmonton. Not a big deal. But it should be clear by now that the UCP and the NDP are infiltrated with Globalists (going back at least to Redford). That is now the big problem–going from NDP to UCP or vice versa gets you the same globalists running the show.

  10. Cosmo Kramer

    November 30, 2021 at 9:36 am

    RM, yes uniting the right was the purpose of the UCP. However, the premise was flawed. What was united were Wildrose (predominately rural) conservatives with urban Red Tory Liberals who have more in common and are totally in line with the NDP on social issues. Due to the ideological differences it was a marriage doomed from the start. Notice all the social experiments that the NDP has implemented have not been rescinded by the UCP but now accepted. This will be the same for any future looney policies the NDP will implement.

    Kenney has made it very clear he is not going anywhere and honest conservative UCP members have been unsuccessful in having him removed. He will likely destroy the UCP and then (along with Hinshaw) either take the big pay-off for their services or accept some cushy high paid position with a globalist foundation (WEF, WHO, etc.). The Alberta conservative movement will have to rebuild through the Wildrose Independence Party and hopefully learn the lesson that Red Tory Liberals cannot be accepted or trusted.

  11. RM

    November 30, 2021 at 8:09 am

    UCP was created to unite the anti leftist vote and has failed. Only organized strategic voting will counter the urban progressive vote. The leftist vote is unified, one unite the right party has failed, so the only alternative is a coalition and power sharing between the NDPs ideological enemies. When we go to the polls in the next provincial election there had better be only one anti leftist party on the ballot or a disastrous NDP victory is inevitable.

  12. dwood439@protonmail.com

    November 30, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Alberta’s social conservatives should be more afraid of Kenney’s corruption and poor leadership than the bogeyman of the NDP.
    Wildrose Independence looks like a great alternative. The best government is always closest to the people. Having central Canadians rule Alberta does not make sense in 2021.

  13. Peter No

    November 30, 2021 at 6:47 am

    100% true. UCP Nazis are pawing the road for return of the NDP Communists to power. And non-vaccianted are facing death by Holodomor from either sides.

  14. Susan Grant

    November 30, 2021 at 6:44 am

    NDP are the cause of many mental diseases. #WEXIT

  15. Claudette Leece

    November 30, 2021 at 6:35 am

    Every kid in Alberta will be indoctranated with crt, they already are in public schools. Want to rot your kids brains just send them to public school

  16. Mark Cameron

    November 30, 2021 at 2:03 am

    Wildrose Independence…

  17. Bryan

    November 29, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    Unfortunately TM, you are correct. Unfortunately, I live in Calgarygrad and see this every day.

    I used to love Calgary but it has gone to schitt VERY quickly. It REALLY started to go downhill when Numbnuts Nenshi came to power. She really screwed this city.

  18. John Thomas

    November 29, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    Alberta Party looking better all the time

  19. Non-Compliant Alberta Separatist

    November 29, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    The only way that NDP will get back into power is if the elections are rigged.

    That is what we Albertans should be afraid of.

    The mayoral elections proved election fraud happens in Alberta, and all across Canada.

    Be very afraid.

    Say NO to mail in ballots.
    Say NO “electronic counting” machines.
    Say NO to PACs, Union forced voting, and every other form of voter fraud
    Say NO to voters not showing ID before voting
    Say NO to anything that can be used to cheat.

  20. Jerry Terpstra

    November 29, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    When will the politicians leave some issues behind and deal with the important ones. We need health care fixed.
    We need an open discussion and dialog about covid and future treatment plans, letting the doctors do thier jobs. . Getting doctors into the rural areas. There are a whole lot more important isues than the issues they are saying are important.
    Time to leave the sorry ass little squabbles in the toy box and deal with stuff that the majority of albertans need fixed.

  21. Proud Albertan

    November 29, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    I can’t beleive that these crazy loons could get back into power… do we have to go door to door in the cities to tell them what’s in store…

  22. TM

    November 29, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    UCP = Nazi’s

    NDP = Stalinists

    Calgarians & Edmontonians = sheep

    Sheep only vote UCP or NDP

    The rest of Alberta losses regardless

  23. Andrew

    November 29, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Every common sense conservative needs to realize the UCP is split and finished. Don’t split the conservative vote by voting UCP. Give a Wildrose Government a chance. Good change coming.

  24. Left Coast

    November 29, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    Every thinking citizen should be very afraid of the Socislist NDP controlling their lives.
    Unless of course you long to live in a Commune . . .

    The NDP have destroyed everything they have touched in Canada for decades. Now with new tools like “Pandemics” & the terror of “Gorebull Warming” . . . the can & will completely destroy your Wealth & your Life.

    “The goal of socialism is communism.” – Vladimir Lenin

  25. Ken

    November 29, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Everyone who is pissed at Kenny and his group of minions absolutely need to vote for Wildrose Independence Party.
    Lets get some common sense back into politics.

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THOMAS: How Western Canada fared in the 2021 housing market

“That didn’t happen. By early summer, sales picked up, prices steadied and the industry hasn’t looked back since, with some markets setting sales records in 2021.”




When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, like many industries, the lockdowns and restrictions shut down housing industry operations.

Home sales and prices plummeted, adding to the fear of the virus that homeowners would lose their homes’ equity. 

That didn’t happen. By early summer, sales picked up, prices steadied and the industry hasn’t looked back since, with some markets setting sales records in 2021. 

Here’s how major markets in Western Canada fared last year.


It was the third year in a row with record-breaking sales and dollar volumes.

“Both 2020 and 2021 were remarkable years in delivering sales gains from the previous year,” said Kourosh Doustshenas, outgoing president of the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board. “Last year saw an increase of more than 2,500 sales compared to 2020 and 33% sales growth over the previous five-year average.”

Sales of existing homes in 2021 reached 18,575 units with the dollar sales volume reaching $6.25 billion, up 28% from 2020.

Single-family homes and condominiums were the most popular, with market shares of 68% and 14% respectively.


The Saskatchewan Realtors Association’s (SRA) report covers all sales in the province. 

A record 17,387 sales were recorded in 2021, surpassing the previous record in 2007 by 17%.

While the pandemic triggered disruptions in some sectors of the economy, housing boomed, said SRA CEO, Chris Guérette.

“Improved savings from those not financially impacted by COVID-19, combined with low lending rates have supported the strong sales environment we saw throughout 2021,” said Guérette, adding inventory levels in the province were 16% below long-term trends.

“This resulted in the MLS Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price* gaining more than seven percent.”


Sales of existing homes in Calgary soared in 2021, reaching a record 27,686, nearly 72% higher than 2020 and more than 44% higher than the 10-year average, says the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB).

“Concerns over inflation and rising lending rates likely created more urgency with buyers over the past few months, said CREB’s chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie. “However, the supply has not kept pace with the demand, causing strong price growth.” 

The year-end benchmark price was $451,567, up 8% from 2020. 

“We enter 2022 with some of the tightest conditions in over a decade,” said Lurie. “In December, inventory was nearly 25% lower than long-term averages, which will impact our housing market in 2022.”


“2021 was an incredible year for the Greater Edmonton Area (GEA),” says Realtors Association of Edmonton chair Tom Shearer. “The year-over-year stats for sales and listings in the GEA were significantly higher than December 2020.”

Last December, single-family home sales rose 16.5% from December 2020.  Condo sales increased 25.6% from December 2020. Duplex/rowhouse sales increased 16.8% year-over-year.

The HPI benchmark price in the GEA came in at $410,900, a 5.2% increase from December 2020.

Metro Vancouver

Home sales reached an all-time high in 2021, with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reporting a total of 43,999, a 4% increase over the previous record of 42,326 in 2015.

The HPI composite benchmark price at the end of 2021 was $1,230,200, a 17.3% increase from December 2020.

“While steady, home listing activity didn’t keep pace with the record demand we saw throughout 2021. This imbalance caused residential home prices to rise over the past 12 months,” said Keith Stewart, REBGV economist.

“Detached home and townhome benchmark prices increased 22% last year, while apartments increased 12.8%.”


There were 10,052 properties sold in 2021, close to the record of 10,622 sales in 2016.

“The theme of this year has been very consistent,” says Victoria Real Estate Board president David Langlois. “Each month a high demand for homes paired with record low inventory has put strong pressure on pricing and attainability.”

The single-family HPI benchmark price in the Victoria Core in December 2021 was $1,144,900, up 25.1% from $1,122,600 in November. The HPI benchmark price for a condominium in the area in December 2020 was $570,600 up from $487,100 a year earlier. 

Housing supply across the country is a concern, said Langlois

“We have spoken throughout the year about the need for new housing supply at all levels to help moderate prices and improve attainability,” he said. “Some of our municipalities have begun to look at ways to make it easier for new homes to be brought to market and we applaud and encourage any movement in this area.”

*The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) is a measure of real estate prices that provides a clearer picture of market trends over traditional tools such as mean or median average prices. It is designed to be a reliable, consistent, and timely way of measuring changes in home prices over time.

Myke Thomas is a Western Standard contributor. He started in radio as a child voice actor, also working in television and as the real estate columnist, reporter and editor at the Calgary Sun for 22 years.

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MAKICHUK: Flaming question: Should we let them go, or not?

“Maybe Gondek can take a holiday in Mexico? Pretty please?”




So, do we care if the Flames leave, or not?

That, my friends, is the question. 

While it appears Mayor Jyoti Gondek was instrumental in letting the arena deal die, it’s never quite as simple as that.

I wouldn’t exactly put halos over the heads of the Flames owners either.

Someone suggested the right people to negotiate this thing are not in place — that actually sounds like it might have some merit.

It reminds me of when the Flames decided to trade Doug Gilmour, the player who helped them win the Stanley Cup.

At that time, sources told me the team and Gilmour were not that far apart in the money department. In fact, it was pocket change compared to what they pay players now.

I won’t go over the Gilmour-Leeman trade, it’s too painful for Flames fans to have to endure, and, well, I’m not that cruel of a person.

But really, are we that far apart now? We all know construction costs are soaring, but slamming the door shut on this deal, is not the way to go, IMO.

Even though I can’t stand the Flames. Why?

Well, for starters, I’m a Red Wings fan, all the way.

Secondly, when I worked at the Calgary Sun, whenever the Flames went into the playoffs we would end up working 12-hour days until the ordeal was over.

We did well against the competition, having a good stable of writers who worked their tails off. Not to mention the best sports photogs in the city.

As we got no extra overtime pay for all this extra effort and hardly saw our families during these times — which were exciting, of course, no argument there — it just got to be too much.

We would kill forests of trees to pound out pages on the Flames and their playoff adventures. 

In the end, whenever the Flames were eliminated, we would hold the “Thank You Flames Open” — a golf tournament, complete with prizes, and, a Green Jacket, which we purchased at Goodwill for $8.

The winner would get to wear the green jacket in the office, for an entire year — a tremendous honour!

But I’m not here to beat up on the Flames. I know how important this team is to the city.

While personally I don’t care if they stay or go, I know a lot of people want them to stay because they have become such an important symbol of our city.

Some of the best hockey ever played was between the Flames and, those guys up north … what’s their name again? Oil something?

Anyway, you get the picture. We happen to have a big rivalry with the folks in Edmonton who seem to get things done better and faster than our city council.

Case in point, Rogers Place. How come they could get it done and we couldn’t? 

That project also went over-budget, and led to a similar standoff. Clearly, cooler heads prevailed and Edmonton’s council approved the funding for the House of McDavid … and the rest, as they say, is history.

By the way, they also have better winter snow removal according to what I’ve been told.

So do we care or not? Should we try to resurrect this deal or not? 

Should Gondek — she of the climate emergency no one cares about — swallow her pride and step aside from the negotiation process?

Or, well … should we let them go and build a brand new stadium for the Calgary Stampeders instead? Believe it or not, they actually do need a new stadium.

As much as I love McMahon stadium, it is seriously out of date. I mean, even Regina has a much better football stadium, for crissakes. Regina!

If you ask me, I’d rather axe the Green Line, and other such Nero-like mega-projects of the previous mayor and use that money elsewhere.

But let’s get back to the Flames. Remember Winnipeg, who went through a dark period after their NHL team left town?

Glen Murray was city councillor for Winnipeg’s Fort Rouge ward at the time and was elected as the city’s mayor in 1998. He watched as Winnipeg’s team slipped away, eventually moving to Phoenix, where hockey never really caught on.

“It was heartbreaking because the provincial and the municipal governments who were subsidizing [the team] couldn’t sustain it,” Murray told the CBC.

“Every proposal for a new arena involved hundreds of millions of dollars, which no one in the community could raise at the time,” he said. “It was a real dark period for the city because people love their hockey team.”

When the much-despised NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the return of the then still-to-be-named team in May 2011, the excitement in the city was palpable.

“In all my years as a reporter, I have never seen a city stop before,” said Marjorie Dowhos, a CBC Manitoba reporter. 

“Cheers immediately broke out, some people had tears in their eyes and I had shivers up my spine as I watched all of this,” she said.

Season tickets went on sale to the general public on June 4 and sold out in 17 minutes.

What more do I have to say? Do we really want to go the way of the Winnipeg Jets?

Let me finish, with a little story.

Back in 1967, my Dad took me to my first NHL hockey game at the Olympia in Detroit. They were sold out, so we bought $3 standing room tickets.

The first thing I saw was Gordie Howe score effortlessly on Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Terry Sawchuk, on a breakaway. The place went nuts, it literally shook.

That, and many other experiences that evening, would change my life. I saw walls of Red Wings paraphernalia, none of which we could afford. I think all we came home with was a cheap program.

To this day, I will never forget that first experience of watching the Wings play and seeing them walk off the ice on a carpet, right in front of me.

Hockey gods they were — not like today’s overpaid prima donnas.

One can’t really put a dollar value on that. I don’t know how much the Flames bring to the city, financially, but I would imagine it’s significant. But then, there’s that emotional attachment, too. 

Remember the big run in 2004? We all do. Hell, even I was popping shooters on 17 Avenue!

So yeah, hell, let’s try to keep the Flames. Let’s give it another go and hope that as good citizens the Flames owners group will cut us some slack in this time of financial disarray. And let’s get the right people in there, to get this done.

Maybe Gondek can take a holiday in Mexico? Pretty please?

And really, let’s leave this “line in the sand” crap to Vladimir Putin and his maniacal ambitions. 

We’re better than that, I’m sure of it. Let’s get ‘er done.

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the Calgary correspondent for ChinaFactor.news

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SLOBODIAN: Truckers going pedal-to-the-metal for Canadian freedoms

“We feel that the trucking industry is literally this country’s last hope to potentially getting our freedoms back.”




The complainers started calling Richland Transport Inc. while Rick Wall was still at the Canada-U.S. border protesting federal mandates requiring cross-border truckers to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated.

Wall, president of the Winkler, Man. trucking firm, organized Convoy Against Mandates. Semi-trucks drove along Highway 75 to the Pembina-Emerson port of entry in Southern Manitoba Monday. Pickups, tractors, and cars joined in.

“I love the haters. We’ll go out there all day long and battle for them as much as we will for any supporters. We were out there uniting the truck industry to fight all mandates for everyone,” Wall told the Western Standard

“This country has been ripped apart. We need to reunite and love and respect each other like we used to. Our government has done a tremendous job of dividing us, destroying us.

“We’re supposed to hate each other based on medical decisions. That is not right… We need to open our eyes.”

One caller who threatened to cut Richland’s phone lines “because your boss is stupid” might change his mind when the impact of the Liberal mandate personally affects him.

The mandate requiring truckers returning from the U.S. to be fully vaccinated or quarantine took effect January 15.

“Whether you support our movement or not, it will affect you. You wouldn’t see an instant effect from what we haul. It’s a trickle effect. It’s all linked,” said Wall.

With fewer drivers delivering loads, the supply chain will be heavily impacted. The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) anticipates a loss of 12,000-16,000 cross-border commercial drivers. Some estimates peg it higher at 20,000-26,000.

Unvaccinated American drivers will be denied entry.

“You’re going to see price increases on basically everything, especially food. I think you’ll see a lot of empty grocery store shelves. We’re in the middle of winter and our food is getting trucked in. Nobody’s growing gardens this time of year. They couldn’t have picked a worse time to do this. So much of our produce comes from the southern U.S.”

Meanwhile, unvaccinated truckers forced into quarantine — after they deliver their loads — lose income. 

“In a lot of scenarios, it’s basically taking that particular driver’s right to provide a livelihood for his family away from him. It’s detrimental to these families. There’s a lot of drivers not willing to participate in this mandate. The vaccines are clearly not working, that’s my view on it.”

Truckers have been treated shamefully by a Liberal government that kept changing direction. 

Since mid-November, the government was in a state of confusion over the requirements, announcing different rollout criteria, then going back to the original plan.

“It’s been a really, really tiring battle. Our heads have been spinning for months. Clearly, we saw how chaotic that was last week on how the government flip-flopped right until the very end,” said Wall.

“We had no solid information on the Canadian side basically until they started enforcing it on our drivers. It was pretty tough for us to navigate and try to figure out what do we tell our drivers.”

When the mandate kicked in, Richland’s first returning driver ran into problems at the border.

“He was down in the U.S. for a week. He came across Saturday morning. He was verbally abused by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at Emerson port of entry. He was treated horribly and was finally released after an hour and-a-half and told to go quarantine.

“Most of these guys know their rights. They will cite their rights and try to stand up for themselves. I’m very proud of them for doing that. We should all have that right.”

Some CBSA officers treat truckers with “utmost” respect.

“But the next guy is on a complete power trip giving the driver a really hard time, disrespecting them, denouncing everything the driver will say in his own defense.

“Goodness gracious, you’re coming home to your own country where you pay your taxes. And quite frankly, that officer’s salary… They come back home, and they’re treated like criminals. 

“Our system is incredibly broken…Something has to be done.”

Well, never underestimate the grit and stamina of truckers.

They’re just getting started. More rallies are planned.

A convoy rally will be held January 24 in Winnipeg. It will circle the perimeter of the city then head to the legislature.

A cross-Canada trucking convoy starting January 23 in Vancouver working its way east will gain momentum as it crosses the country. Truckers from across Canada will convene in Ottawa.

“It’ll just take a few more of us to stand up and say this isn’t right and try to unite the people. We need to end all these totalitarian mandates,” said Wall.

“We feel that the trucking industry is literally this country’s last hope to potentially getting our freedoms back.”

And our shelves stocked.

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard

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