For 3 days now, a Truck Convoy has disrupted the supply chain by blockading the US border crossing between Alberta and Montana. Many transport trucks are trapped at the border crossing unable to deliver their loads. The Truck Convoy protestors have also cut off access into the village of Coutts, which has left residents unable to access essential services and groceries. This action is a strange turn of events considering that we have been told that the purpose of the Truck Convoy protests are to preserve the supply chain. Thus far, the Government of Alberta has done little to stop this illegal protest other than to “negotiate” with the protestors. Is this because they won’t intervene, or because they can’t.
The Truck Convoy has gone beyond protest
The RCMP have declared the Trucker Convoy protest to be unlawful and have requested the protestors will clear the area. The protestors, however, do not seem to be budging, although they have allowed a few individuals to pass. Premier Jason Kenney has also asked the Truck Convoy to disperse, but claims it is the responsibility of the local authorities to enforce provincial legislation. That is likely unreasonable at this point, as neither the local police presence nor the village of Coutts have the resources to clear the protestors off the highway.
Under the leadership of Premier Jason Kenney, the Government of Alberta passed the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, which is meant to ensure that protestors are unable to engage in blockades that disrupt essentials services. Okay, lets be real. Bill 1 was meant to allow the province to clear away Indigenous peoples attempting to limit environmental damage on their Traditional Territories. It is unlikely that Jason Kenney ever once dreamed that his own base would rise up against him and blockade the US Border.
Now Kenney is in a bind. The same corporations that prodded him to create legislation to protect their commercial interests are now going to want him to do something about the protestors at the borders. After all, it is their bottom line that is at stake. Meanwhile, Kenney finds himself in a position to make his base even madder than they already are. In addition to all of this, everyone can be sure the Americans are pressing Kenney hard to solve this issue.
What is Jason Kenney going to do about his Truck Convoy Problem?
The Truck Convoy is disrupting the food supply. The Canadian Meat Council has already warned that 150 loads of beef have been trapped by the blockade. That is a lot of meat that is not getting to market. Do the Truck Convoy protestors know they are jeopardizing the food supply for their fellow Albertans? After all, the protestors, and various politicians, keep insisting that their actions are meant to protect the food supply.
At this point, it is unclear what they truly want, and it will not be easy to convince them to go home. What is Kenney going to do? Does he have the policing infrastructure to clear the protestors himself? Will he have to request Federal assistance? Will they get help from the Americans? Kenney must be having some sleepless nights.
What ever Kenney does, all his choices lead to more woe for his political career.