Alberta Politics
Trucks from the Dec. 19 truck protest that snarled traffic near Edmonton airport (Photo: Grabbed from Twitter).

No truck convoy to Ottawa? No trucks, no glory, perhaps, but no Conservative PR disaster either

Posted on January 16, 2019, 1:07 am
5 mins

If you were one of those cynics who wondered how far that heavily publicized Ottawa-bound truck convoy demanding new pipelines and demanding them now would get, you have your answer: Nowhere.

The promised slow-moving, horn-honking, eastern-bastard-annoying convoy from Alberta was supposed to depart Red Deer on Feb. 15. But Monday afternoon, the self-described “grassroots movement” behind the trans-Canada rolling blockade or whatever it was supposed to be pulled the plug on the entire venture before the trucks even left the depot. The reason? It was “no longer viable.”

Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer in one of his social media pictures that day (Photo: Twitter).

The basis of this alleged lack of viability was not explained, so supporters and skeptics alike are bound to engage in a little harmless speculation and then yell at each other on social media about it. Well, so be it.

Rally 4 Resources, the Red Deer-based group nominally behind the effort, promised Monday to refund anyone who donated to the group’s GoFundMe campaign online.

“This event was planned in response to the overwhelming momentum that’s been building from our resource rallies,” the group said. “Unfortunately, we have come to the decision that it is no longer viable to proceed with our planned convoy.”

So, in the event – or, rather, not in the event, or at least in the non-event – the momentum turned out to be something less than overwhelming. Whatever could have gone wrong?

It’s possible, of course, that the organizers realized the actual number of truckers who would be available to drive all 3,500 kilometres to Ottawa without pulling a load was bound to be seriously underwhelming.

People do want to work, after all, and if you’re a trucker that means you have to be available to pull loads with your truck if you want to make any money.

Others have suggested that the group – which seemed suspiciously closely connected to the Conservative Party of Canada – may have been quietly asked to drop its plans. This theory says Conservative Party of Canada pollsters must have been getting back answers that suggested the potential for a large group of trucks from Alberta creating a nuisance on the highways of Ontario wasn’t going to win any friends for Conservative federal Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer.

After all, the instant a grinning Mr. Scheer just happened to turn up at the huge truck rally that snarled traffic around Edmonton International Airport on Dec. 19, and then made sure his face was plastered all over social media aboard some of the rigs, his name and party were inextricably linked to the convoy’s organizers in the minds of Canadians.

Protesters who were there that day can deny it all they like – and they might even be right – but the idea that the convoy and others like it was in fact organized to bring publicity to Mr. Scheer’s Edmonton visit and embarrass Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now firmly embedded in the public’s consciousness.

If voters outside the Prairies weren’t enamoured of this spectacle, you can certainly see why Mr. Scheer’s strategists might want it to quietly go away.

Unfortunately for Mr. Scheer, a group of so-called “yellow vests” – the people who are giving a bad name across the country to high-visibility fabrics – apparently plans to continue with its own cross-Canada convoy protest.

If they turn out to have the organizational skills to keep their act together and find some trucks for the trip, Mr. Scheer and his party are not only going to be blamed for everything they get up to, but for everything they say.

And given the kind of poisonous garbage some of them have been spewing up to now, that could be very bad for Mr. Scheer. And when he says he has nothing to do with them, lots of voters just aren’t going to believe him.

On to Ottawa? The Conservatives had better hope the story of the still-planned yellow-vest protest also turns out to be a case of no guts, no glory, and, above all, no trucks!

7 Comments to: No truck convoy to Ottawa? No trucks, no glory, perhaps, but no Conservative PR disaster either

  1. Bill Malcolm

    January 16th, 2019

    Could there be a more, as the Brits used to say, clueless clot than Andrew Scheer? Viewing him only from the perspective of his public appearances and utterances, I am struck by his dull slow-witted reponses. He has some pre-arranged thing to say, and seems unable to process any change by way of a reporter’s follow-up question – one wonders if he has even understood the query posed. He merely repeats what he’s already said. Not a bright man. Apparently confident that he could have beaten down Trump on NAFTA, or done this and that better than PM Twinkletoes hisself merely by stating as much but without further explanation, he has trouble grasping context and content. He is not quick on his feet, er, brain. Dear oh dear, what a useless waste of time he is for a man occupying the role of Leader of the Opposition. I imagine he is the life of any party, even a social tea. A buzzkill dimbulb. From dull minds come dull policies, and then one is reduced to sloganeering standing in for actual thoughtful reflection. Gronk. Just imagine the scintillating conversation you could have if by some major misfortune, you were stuck alone in a room with him. My definition of cruel and unusual punishment.

    So the Alberta good-natured if ill-informed truck convoy is off, but the cunning twisted minds of the Canadian far right who have purloined the yellow vest idea (of the upset against Macron-Neoliberalism-Deluxe regular French folk) for their own nefarious reasons, might do something truculent themselves. Oh joy. Let us raise a cup of good cheer. This hive of white supremacist blaggards, racists, misogynists and xenophobes need to have a territory to themselves – I nominate Ellesmere Island. Trump can come and give lectures to a sell-out crowd, and then demand payment for looking after their defence from China, Russia, the Latin American and Muslim hordes and JT.

    Federally, your navel-gazing out-of-touch Jagmeet Singh looks set to sink the NDP. That leaves only the Greens, and Elizabeth May is no dope. Ran into her when she protested our right of way spraying 35 years ago in NS. Was sneakily impressed and thus slowly began my change to being environmentally responsible. She’d roast Scheer’s underperforming neurons for a mid-morning snack with ease and aplomb. So it’s the Greens for me federally from now on, not least because of Notley revealing her true spots and the relentlessly annoying Alberta TV ads of dubious logic polluting our airwaves night and day. Voted NDP for years and for our good MP who got shot down for perhaps touching women inappropriately post his election loss to a Liberal nonentity in 2015, while being the best friend our vets ever had. No reason to vote NDP whatsoever – not a single one.

    Reply
    • Rocky

      January 16th, 2019

      I have been thinking much the same thing myself about Elizabeth May and the Greens. Living in Alberta, as I do, there is not much hope of the Green Party of Canada even running candidates in most ridings, especially mine, though, so in the absence of some geriatric Communist running on a whim, as used to happen occasionally, I suppose I shall hold my nose and vote NDP anyway.

      Reply
  2. Political Ranger

    January 16th, 2019

    Well, certainly no brains!
    These guys are all Conservative voters, no doubt about that. Both provincially and federally.
    That they can’t organise, that they have no coherent strategy, that they have no message beyond personal outrage is not at all surprising for a bunch of Albaturda red-neck right-wing nutjobs; that was Klein’s level of competence and cri de coeur for the duration of his term.
    Just another day chuckles and wonderment out on the flats.

    Reply
  3. Bob Raynard

    January 16th, 2019

    Based on the antics of the truckers’ demonstration in Nisku, I assume the plan was to hold up traffic all the way across the country, convinced that will help to make people like the pipeline idea. As I suggested on an earlier post, this is like the bully complaining to his teacher, “I have beat up every kid in my class twice, and still nobody likes me”.

    The Rally4Rescources people were adamant that they were not part of the Yellow Vest movement, and that they did not share the odious views some of the YV people have expressed.

    Thus the R4R people were trying to attract participants with enough of an obnoxious streak that they were willing to inconvenience people for a prolonged period, but not obnoxious enough to share the Yellow Vest views. Maybe they were just targeting too small a slice of the population.

    Enjoy your day!

    Reply
  4. David

    January 16th, 2019

    I think whoever is organizing this has finally figured out that driving around Nisku and tying up traffic to the airport in Edmonton is unlikely to get the attention of those who count in Ottawa. Now I am not sure there is much Ottawa can really do about the current pipeline delays, it seems it is the courts that are dealing with that now. However, I suppose Ottawa does have more powers on this issue than Alberta.

    In any event, I think one of the tactics is to put political pressure on Ottawa and see what happens. Driving anywhere around Alberta is unlikely to do that. I doubt the Federal Liberals are expecting to win big here in the upcoming election and even if they lose their few seats here, I am sure they can survive without them. Obviously the protestors need to go to Ontario, however that is not as simple as it sounds. First, it is a long trip and a trucker who is not busy can afford a day or two off to protest, but probably not a week or more. Second, the costs of traveling across Canada, even with an empty truck are not insignificant. Third, they will get noticed if they actually manage to get someone to bankroll their trip to Ontario, but that can be a double edged sword. All it takes is a few of those angry yellow jackets to spout off too much about immigrants or something else not closely related to this issue and all that potential good will in Ontario towards Alberta’s struggling oil workers could dissipate very quickly. If that happens, of course there will also be those pictures of Scheer smiling in the cab of the truck in Nisku to tie him into the extreme and intolerant yellow jacket protestors. As I well know from living in Alberta for many years, don’t get too close to the yellow jackets, they are nasty and will sting you for no reason.

    Reply
  5. Joanne Boutet

    January 16th, 2019

    Oil’s last stand.

    Reply
  6. Gisele Hetu

    February 18th, 2019

    Boy, are you WRONG! About EVERYTHING you said in your article! Why don’t you try living through cold cold Canada winters with solar or wind energy, you FOOL! Try starting your electric car, which will die after 40 kms, as we have seen with so many Teslas! There is an abundance of oil and it does no longer pollute – the factories and our cars are now made to expell no residue – do your research. We are carbon NEGATIVE in Canada!!!! I am SO angry that people like you live comfortable lives with your central heating and gas cars whilst idiots at the Capitol (who are slaves to the EU by the way and are trying to implement Agenda 21, and Agenda 2030 – look them up), to RID us ALL of our freedoms, one by one and the fake global warming story is a big part of brainwashing us to make us feel guilty that we are destroying our planet. DO your research on how clean Canada is. We have so many trillions of trees that we are CARBON NEGATIVE. Meaning that we are in fact HELPING the world’s atmosphere, NOT destroying it at ALL! DO you even CARE about those in Alberta who have been making YOUR life EASY????? If not, you are living in ignorance and complete lack of gratefulness for the riches that we have in Canada, and for those hard-working men and women who get the job done for those of us who work in “office” jobs. I can’t imagine seeing YOU do THEIR work, so SHUT UP, and accept the luxuries that we have here in Canada, a good life compared to most around the globe. STOP getting AWAY – one day you will SEE THIS< but by then, if most of your readers believe as you do, it will be TOO LATE, and you will feel like a total fool for having believed their lies. Do your due diligence man, and stop shouting from your high seat about things you know nothing about!

    Reply

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