A group of House Republicans condemned Canada‘s vaccine mandates and treatment protesting truckers in a letter they sent Wednesday to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Biden.
Spearheaded by Rep. Byron Donalds, Florida Republican, the letter focused on the trucker blockade at the U.S.-Canada border in protest of COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
The letter was sent on the same day as an American convoy of truckers was gearing up to drive to Washington, D.C., to protest COVID restrictions.
House Republicans criticized Mr. Trudeau over his implementation of the Emergencies Act, which the Canadian Parliament extended for 30 more days on Tuesday.
The law allows the Canadian government to “take special temporary measures that may not be appropriate in normal times” to deal with an “urgent and critical situation.”
“In other words, the situation must meet a high bar ‘that seriously endangers the lives, health or safety of Canadians.’ Specifically in this case, the Act was passed in 1988 and has never been used, which also sparks additional concerns when coupled with the overarching meaning of the truckers’ message,” the GOP lawmakers wrote.
“While both of our countries continue to embrace the notions of democracy and federalism, unnecessary government regulation is never the answer. The protesting truckers should be able to maintain their fundamental right to express their opposition to the countries’ vaccine mandates, but using the federal government to suppress the truckers’ cause is troublesome in itself — under both the principles of America and Canada alike,” the lawmakers wrote.
“Overall, we write to state our support of the protesting truckers as they continue to express their concerns about the arbitrary vaccine travel requirements.”
The letter was co-signed by GOP Reps. Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota, Chris Jacobs of New York, Nicole Malliotakis of New York, Troy Nehls of Texas and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.
Mr. Trudeau is under scrutiny following news footage of activists involved in the Canadian trucker convoy being beaten by law enforcement and reports of the Canadian government freezing bank accounts of individuals involved in the Ottawa protest.
Mr. Donalds said in a statement the COVID-19 mandates “such as those implemented by the authoritarian Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and his appeaser, President of the United States Joseph R. Biden, have devastated each nation’s economy thereby inhibiting the free flow of commerce throughout North America.”
The lawmakers noted that the Biden administration and the Canadian Ministry announced COVID-19 vaccine mandates at the beginning of the year for all travelers at land ports of entry and ferry terminals. The mandates, they said, led to many truckers to protest near the U.S.-Canada border to voice their concerns about “arbitrary vaccine mandates.”
“With that being said, we fear that the trucker protests will result in widespread negative economic repercussions on U.S.-Canada trade—thereby inhibiting the free flow of commerce throughout North America,” they wrote.
The U.S. and Canada have a comprehensive bilateral trade relationship. Both rely heavily on ground transport of nearly $1.7 billion in goods and services every day.
The Republicans caution that the Canadian Trucking Alliance expects as many as 22,000 Canadian truck drivers and 16,000 American truckers to alter their itineraries due to vaccination requirements.
For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.
• Kerry Picket can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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