Elon Musk appears to back anti-vaccine mandate truckers in Canada

‘Canadian truckers rule’

Graig Graziosi
Monday 31 January 2022 13:31
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The billionaire owner of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk appears to have given his stamp of approval to Canadian truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates for cross-border drivers.

On Thursday, Mr Musk tweeted that "Canadian truckers rule" as reports of the truckers protesting in Ottawa made international news.

Barring the unlikely event that Mr Musk's tweet was simply a coincidental celebration of Canada's cargo hauling community, the tweet appears to be an endorsement of the drivers' anti-vaccine positions.

The Canadian government enacted a requirement forcing all cross-border truck drivers to be vaccinated as of 15 January. The US has imposed the same requirement on truckers entering the country.

Social media users responded to Mr Musk’s tweets with a mixture of celebration and condemnation of the tech icon.

One user pointed out that the vast majority of Canada’s truckers were vaccinated.

“I’m sure Elon is talking about the 85%+ of Canadian truckers who help make it one of the most vaccinated industries in the country. I think they rule too,” the user tweeted.

Others praised Mr Musk, including Jordan Peterson, a former professor who is popular among the alt-right for complaining about cancel culture, feminism, and transgender politics in the US. The career academic employed stereotypical trucker CB radio lingo made popular by the movie Smokey and the Bandit to show his approval.

“10-4 good buddy. Breaker breaker 1-9,” he wrote.

Police in Ottawa are preparing for potential violence stemming from the protest. According to The Associated Press, the city's police chief, Peter Sloly, has been in contact with the protests’ organisers and said they have been cooperative and have shared their plans. The fear for violence stems from "parallel groups" that might attend the protest.

Far-right groups in Canada have latched onto the protest, with one individual saying in a video that they hope the rally will turn into Canada's equivalent of the Capitol riot.

Donald Trump Jr weighed in, praising the truckers' fight against "tyranny" and called on Americans to do the same.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been made aware of the potential threat from extremist groups, saying there was a "small fringe minority who are on the way to Ottawa who are holding unacceptable views."

"What we are hearing from some people associated with this convoy is completely unacceptable," he said.

For all the protest, there appears to be no "measurable impact" on the number of trucks crossing the border since the mandate went into effect. According to Canada's Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, almost 100,000 trucks crossed the border, which is normal for this time of year.

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