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MORGAN: It’s time to break up the Alberta Teacher’s Association

ATA representative Jonathan Teghtmeyer said the ATA is not under any obligation to report any potential criminal behaviour of teachers to the police.




Is the Alberta Teacher’s Association (ATA) a professional organization, a disciplinary body, or a union? The answer to all three questions is ‘yes’, and it has created a gross conflict of interest.

The ATA is a union by every definition but name. It takes mandatory dues from teachers, it negotiates collective agreements, and has the ability to call a strike. It advocates on behalf of teachers to the government and the public.

The ATA is also a professional organization. In that role, the ATA is responsible for broader oversight of the entire trade of teaching. According to the Alberta Teaching Profession Act the role of the ATA is to advance and improve the cause of education in Alberta and to improve the teaching profession.

The ATA is empowered as a disciplinary body that forms a professional conduct committee stacked with 17 ATA members and 3 members of the public. The committee has the ability to impose fines and suspensions of certification of teachers under the oversight of the provincial education minister. This is where the most egregious conflict of interest exists.

All three of these roles filled by the ATA need to be broken into independent bodies.

The role of a professional organization is important. It needs to monitor and maintain the quality of the profession and educational outcomes. It needs to look at teaching practices with the interest of students in mind and needs to contribute to curriculum development with a clear eye. Curriculum development has become hopelessly politicized in Alberta as the ATA has put on its union hat. The ATA has been encouraging opposition to any proposals made by the UCP government, but had nary a word to say about proposals from the ideologically copasetic NDP when it was in power. There is no way for an association to give an unbiased review of the curriculum when it is embroiled in union-driven political battles with the government.

When it comes to disciplinary actions, the ATA has consistently put the interests of the teachers ahead of those of the students. This puts students in danger and the practice has to stop. How could it? It’s also the teachers’ union after all.

In 2014, Education Minister Jeff Johnson was forced to overturn 20% of the cases that came before him during his term.

Here are three of the cases where Minister Johnson overruled ATA recommendations and imposed a lifetime ban for the teachers involved.

The ATA recommended a two-year suspension for Darcy Robert Steele who had been found to have yelled at, kicked furniture at, and thrown things at his Grade 5 and 6 students. Steele also had been criminally convicted of assaulting children who were not his students in 2010.

Faryn Schnapp was given a four-year suspension from the ATA for talking to students about penile and clitoral tattoos and piercing along with texting a student about masturbation.

The ATA felt a three-year teaching suspension for Amanda Chilton was appropriate after she had a sexual affair with one of her students and attempted to cover it up.

This was just in the period of two years. Each one of these teachers would still be teaching today if the ATA’s judgements were not overturned by the minister.

During his four-year reign as education minister with the NDP government, David Eggen never overruled a single ATA ruling. The will of the union was more important than the interests of the students while the NDP was in power.

In 2019, the ATA recommended a two-year suspension for a teacher who had been groping Grade 5 and Grade 6 students on a number of occasions. Eggen accepted the recommendation, but now UCP Education Minister Adriana LaGrange has overruled the ATA’s judgement and imposed a lifetime ban for the teacher in question.

Not only does the ATA impose light penalties on teachers found to be abusive of students, but they also seem to be rather blind when abuses are in progress. The ATA recently imposed a $32,500 fine upon and recommended the cancelation of the teaching certificate of Southern Alberta teacher Frieda Anne Mennes. The problem is, Mennes’ acts of abuse went back over 36 years and she is 65 years old now. Banning a retiree from teaching isn’t much of a punishment and it has to be asked why it took decades for the ATA to take notice of her actions?

A class-action suit has now been filed against the Calgary Board of Education on behalf of a number of students who had allegedly been sexually assaulted by Michael Gregory. Gregory taught at John Ware Junior High school from 1986 until 2006. He took his own life when charged with 17 sexual offenses against his students. Lawyer for the plaintiffs, Jonathan Denis has said Gregory may have victimized upward of 200 students during his 20-year career.

While the ATA did act and suspended Gregory’s license when his actions came to their attention, they also didn’t report the allegations to the police when they came to light.

ATA representative Jonathan Teghtmeyer said the ATA is not under any obligation to report any potential criminal behaviour of teachers to the police. While there may not be a legal obligation to report, there should at least be a moral one. The ATA again was more concerned with the interests of the teacher rather than the students.

The ATA can’t effectively juggle three roles under one umbrella. The union and professional body need to be separated from each other. While the union can and should represent its members when it comes to disciplinary hearings, it should not also be running the hearings. They cannot be trusted to be the judge, jury, executioner, and defence. An independent body needs to be created to deal with investigations and rulings when it comes to misconduct by teachers.

The hybrid organization of the ATA is failing our children and it has to be dismantled.

Cory Morgan is Assistant Opinion & Broadcast Editor for the Western Standard

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  1. Longo

    December 7, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    Canadian Marxists in action.

  2. Claudette Leece

    December 6, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    RM time to defund universities where the completing ofbrainwashing lefties happens, and where teachers are let out in civilization

  3. Claudette Leece

    December 6, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    You only have to watch tIctok to watch where the unhinged teachers go. ATA has way too much power but parents should be far more concerned about crt and the brainwashing going on in schools

  4. Proudly_Free

    December 6, 2021 at 9:43 am

    It is illegal to aid, abet, or facilitate an individual or organization in the carrying out of a crime. Failure by a professional body to report child sexual assault by one of its own members to law enforcement constitutes such facilitation and aid. This is how you land with fake teacher child predators who are allowed to abuse as many as 200 children in a 20 year period. Every single one of these pervs should not just be banned from teaching for life; they should be IN PRISON for life with ZERO CHANCE of parole.

    Forget just breaking up the ATA. If they’re covering for child sex predators and other criminal teachers, they should be dismantled and abolished from top to bottom and their entire executive board should also be arrested and convicted of child sexual assault and any other criminal behaviour.

  5. Glenn Taylor

    December 6, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Time to allow charter schools.

  6. RM

    December 6, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Professional associations in Canada have been colonized by leftists and, although they once fulfilled the role of advancing and monitoring professional practice in their members, they now primarily advance leftist causes to the detriment of the profession they exist to support and society in general.

  7. Suzanne Stybel

    December 6, 2021 at 7:37 am

    As a parent who had to endure the kangaroo court system of the ATA, as long as they are in control of investigations into its own paying members, no parent will win their case …. Unless it’s a social Justice issue then they will hang the teacher! As soon as the member is charged, the original complainant becomes a spectator at the hearing and the real story never get told. In our case , my 11 year daughter caught her 56 year old male teacher secretly filming her on his personal phone. The ATA ran with the teachers third excuse that he was filming her not participating regardless of the fact the teacher never denied the secret filming or lying to my daughter when he said I gave him permission. The teacher is a pig plain and simple! He didn’t even show or send any representation at his hearing, instead the investigator presented his case…. So essentially the ATA is the lawyer, the jury and the judge for the paying union member! The teacher had 4 other charges brought against him totally unrelated to my daughter and they combined the hearing slapping the pig with a $500 fine for all 4 charges he plead guilty to. He still remains a teacher in the same school to this day forcing me to remove her as I would never force my daughter back in a classroom who violated her.Ion top of this garbage if you want to appeal any decision the parent must pay $250 to a private union completely stacked against you… you couldn’t make up the bs if you tried. This union needs to be dismantled yesterday!

  8. Daniel Summers

    December 6, 2021 at 6:56 am


    My wife is a teacher and she has seen this garbage from the Union first hand.

    The Union will bend over backwards for a teacher accused(admitted) of sexual abusing and harassing other employees of the school(Delton Elementary in Edmonton).

    The principle had the gall to ask the victim of the assault if HE was comfortable with HER still working at the school. He said NO!. This would never have been asked of a female teacher about a male sexual harasser.

    She was not suspended despite this being the last of several complaints(all others were from women…funny how women can assualt other women and get away with it) and it took her assaulting a Man over 20 years younger than herself to see any discipline.

    She was transferred schools and retired a year later. The Union is in the business of protecting sexual deviants.

    Per capita one is about twice as likely to be sexually abused by a Public School Teacher than a Catholic Priest.

    An old teacher of mine asked my Mom if she wanted him to teacher her son about Masternation. Teachers are just like everyone else…there are the Good and then the Bad.

  9. BRational

    December 6, 2021 at 6:33 am

    “ATA representative Jonathan Teghtmeyer said the ATA is not under any obligation to report any potential criminal behaviour of teachers to the police.”

    Well, duh. Why would they have to report *potentially* criminal behaviour? If a teacher is or did do something criminal wouldn’t the victim report it to the police first?

  10. Leslie Solar

    December 5, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    Cory is onto something, but I disagree with the conclusion.

    Lots of “professions” have licensing bodies. They end up having some power over their “members”. This usually is justified as being “in the public interest” or some such mantra. The question is: how to do keep these bodies in their correct lane, and not have them abuse their powers and/or their members, and/or the “public” they are supposed to have in mind?

    It usually starts with some sort of “knowledge” requirement. To be a lawyer, you need to go to an accredited law school. And then meet the prof. society’s requirement for getting licensed. To be a plumber, you need a course, some apprentice years, and some exams, to get your Journeyman’s ticket. And then some obligation to “keep up with” the technology and latest developments in the field, going forward. Doctors may need Specialist education or need to work under an experienced practitioner for a certain time. And so on. So far so good.

    In the case of the teachers unions, their members have control of kids, not adults. If there is no requirement to report certain kinds of behaviour of teachers to the criminal authorities, lets put that into the legislation creating the ATA. Or require it to be reported to the parent or legal guardian. Or……

    The trouble happens when these Organizations get people in them who like exercising power, and get to thinking they are the governing body and can do whatever they choose to do. For example, there have traditionally been restrictions on advertising by lawyers. Why should that be? There is law regarding false advertising that generally applies. Why isnt that enough? Or could it be that the large firms want to keep the smaller groups from being able to advertise?

    Or lets look at Covid. “Big Pharma” make billions of dollars from selling a vaccine after some “new” virus comes along. But rules have developed in the USA that, if there is treatment that works, vaccines are not allowed. But if “there is no cure” for it, then the Vaccine can be pushed with no limits. We end up with a financial incentive to downplay any early treatment that works, and peddle “vaccines” that do not meet the traditional definition of “vaccine”, and that in fact, DONT ACTUALLY WORK. Which then allows Big Pharma to peddle “Boosters” for which they own the patents or other rights. And then more Boosters. And perhaps these “shots” can be engineered to cause Ailment X, for which they have another “vaccine” waiting in the wings. And on. ANd on.

    All of this is helped along by Hospitals in Canada, being run by the government. Or in the USA, by certain entities (sometimes Universities, for example). It becomes a fairly small number of people to compromise or somehow control. There is a video online that I just watched where a nurse, who just resigned in October, was astounded by the Covid “protocols” she had to comply with, like a robot, instead of using her judgment as a nurse (or doctor) should do. She said that she had no idea who was issuing these, but it had to be someone not in the medical field, and she said she could no longer practise “medicine” like this. So the immediate result is; we lose the best practitioners “on the front line”. Due to the subversion of powers that are supposed to be “in the public interest”.

    Many of the Provincial Acts that govern various professions contain appeal provisions to the courts if the governing body gets offside. Another way to deal with this, is not to abolish any of these professional bodies, but to allow more than one body that practitioners are allowed to belong to, in order to maintain their credentials. The accountants already do this–you can be a C.A., or CGA, or I.R.A., or….. in order to practise. In the US, some states have a couple of Bar Societies that a lawyer can belong to, and etc.

    And if a professional association gets to be controlled by persons who have no ethics or morals, there are ways that our elected officials, or the courts, or the membership, can deal with that, too.

  11. Left Coast

    December 5, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Teachers’ Unions have been bastions of Propaganda & Disinformation for decades now.

    Today they are “Grooming” your children with Alphabet dogma & Tranny nonsense from elementary grades . . . yet Ottawa is passing laws which would Criminalize anyone who attempts to neutralize this Propaganda.

    Provincial Govt need to work on a voucher program where each Parent gets to choose where to send their kids to school or to homeschool. Union Membership should be Optional, individual teachers could donate to the Union or Not donate. Perhaps it is time to consider Right to Work legislation that is so successful in many US states.

    Unions continually demonstrate they are relics of the distant past . . . today they are Political Action groups for the marxist NDP Party.

  12. Andrew Red Deer

    December 5, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    “Professional” Teachers do not need a Union. They should be hired and fired on their own individual merits and performance PERIOD.
    “PROFESSIONAL” Teachers do need a Professional Standards body to adjudicate teaching Performance criteria, methods and behaviour consisting of 1/3 govt/1/3teachers/1/3 parents of students
    “PROFESSIONAL ” Teachers must report ALL untoward INCIDENTS TO their Standards body and to Law Enforcement if the incident warrants it.
    Parents should have the right to report untoward and illegal Teacher activity to the standards body.

  13. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    December 5, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    This surprises no thinking person.The big question is “how did we get to this fiasco? Parents must understand that they share some of the blame.Any one who has observed the hours of active teaching knows presently actual teaching time is suspect. Wake up parents get value for your dollar.

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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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