Omicron really crushed restaurant and service workers in Quebec in January

What is the convoy of Quebec truckers protesting?

Quebec construction workers working near hospitals must be double vaccinated since October 15. Truckers crossing the border are also obliged to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated Canadian truckers must otherwise follow quarantine rules when entering Canada and will be entry refused in the USA

This has led some anti-vax construction workers and truckers to take a stand against what protest organizer Kevin “Big” Grenier called “vaccine racism.”

While some convoy organizers have made clear their contempt for the press, they have been extremely vocal on social media. In one direct on February 1, Grenier outlines the group’s plans.

“We are here for the future of our children, to abolish QR codes, to abolish the obligation to be vaccinated […] We are for free choice,” he said in the video.

What is their goal?

A convoy started in the Côte-Nord region and headed south toward Quebec City on February 3. A second eastern convoy, leaving from Gaspésie, joined the group in the capital on February 3, and a third from Beauce left on February 5.

Grenier organized the Côte-Nord convoy alongside Bernard “Rambo” Gauthier, a trade unionist with the FTQ-Construction. Its politically charged Facebook messaging received so much attention that Premier Legault had to dispel suggestions that Gauthier’s videos had influenced his decision to remove the unvaxxed tax.

The motivations of the protesters seem to vary. While the official facebook group as the convoy promises it will be a show of “peace, joy, love and ABOVE ALL RESPECT,” Grenier in his February 1 livestream said the band intended to “bring down” the government. Keven Bilodeau, the organizer of a convoy from Beauce, keeps denouncing Legault and Trudeau at the end of his videos, while claiming that the protests will be family friendly.

The Ottawa protest, which Quebec protesters are trying to amplify, has now infamously led to disorderly conduct, including the degradation of the Statue of Terry Fox and alleged desecration of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Officials respond

At a Feb. 4 press conference, Legault said the Quebec City convoy was “nothing like” the Ottawa protests and that he planned to deal with the illegally placed trucks with “lots of tow trucks.”

“We made sure with Mayor Bruno Marchand and the police [that] we have plenty of tow trucks ready if needed to eventually remove the trucks. We will not tolerate at all that trucks prevent citizens from circulating, ”said Legault.

At 98.5 FM Wednesday morning, Mayor Marchand said the convoy may have difficulty reaching Parliament Hill. Although it is possible for trucks to legally cross Quebec City to get to Parliament, the building will be flanked to the east, west and south by Carnival festivities.

It remains to be seen how the convoy will affect the Quebec Winter Carnival this weekend. According to Grenier in the livestream, protesters will protest against wearing masks; early in the day on February 1, he said the protest was not intended to disrupt the carnival.

Asked on 98.5 FM about the possibility of a blockade of Parliament Hill, Mayor Marchand said: “I don’t think democracy can allow a siege. I think people can decide to take a building, a city, hostage. This is unacceptable. The police will respond.”

The Sûreté du Québec said officers will be present to protect the parliament building and ensure a peaceful protest.

The convoy’s Facebook group currently has 13,542 members. According to Grenier, the convoy raised $26,911.33 in small donations for gasoline and food.

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