Biden to Trudeau: Stop the Truckers’ Freedom Convoy

President Joe Biden pressed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to end the truckers’ self-styled Freedom Convoy that protested COVID-19 vaccine mandates at the U.S.-Canada border earlier this year, according to the Daily Mail.

Trudeau is reportedly scheduled to testify on Friday in Ottawa about his decision to disperse the convoy using the Canadian Emergencies Act as part of the Canadian government’s inquiry into his use of the legislation.

The big rig protest grew until it shut down vital trade routes along the United States’ northern border and paralyzed parts of the Canadian capital of Ottawa for more than three weeks.

According to the Mail, Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Washington was “very, very, very worried” that “all of their northeastern car plants will shut down” if the protest was not stopped within 12 hours.

Freeland has testified to the inquiry panel that she was concerned Canada was “in the process of doing long-term and possibly irreparable harm to our trading relationship with the United States.”

On Feb. 11, Biden’s top economic adviser, Brian Deese, and Trudeau chief of staff Brian Clow arranged a phone call between the president and the prime minister, during which Trudeau indicated that his government had a plan to end the convoy, Politico reports.

According to texts between Clow and Freeland, Trudeau discussed “money, people and political/media support” with Biden, while the president reportedly spoke about rumors of a similar convoy that was planning to blockade Washington, D.C. and the Super Bowl in Inglewood, California.

Biden described the truckers’ convoy as a “shared problem,” according to Clow.

Freeland also discussed the situation with some of Canada’s top bankers during a call on Feb. 13 and heard from the CEO of one of the country’s largest steel manufacturers that the blockade was “really impacting us badly.”

“I fear that even worse, the long term consequences of shutting down auto plants because of lack of Canadian parts, will only convince the auto companies to ‘on shore’ even more and relocate supplies (and our customers) to the USA,” Stelco CEO Alan Kestenbaum wrote in a text message to Freeland.

She responded by saying that the government was “determined to bring this to an end quickly.”

The next day — three days after Biden called for him to put an end to it — Trudeau invoked Canada’s rarely used Emergencies Act to quash the protest. 

According to the Mail, the law was used to freeze bank accounts and ban travel to the protests and authorized tow trucks to remove trucks from the blockade.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s