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Polling Shows Public Support Growing for Ottawa Trucker Occupation

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: February 13, 2022
Polling shows public sympathy is growing for the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker occupation protest.
Protestors confront the Ontario Provincial Police as they try to clear the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, on February 12, 2022. Polling indicates public support for the Freedom Convoy trucker occupation of Ottawa and various border crossings is on the rise. (Image: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

A new poll conducted by a professional agency on behalf of one of Canada’s establishment media outlets shows public support for the Freedom Convoy trucker occupation in the nation’s capital, Ottawa, is growing.

Results of a poll conducted on behalf of Global News released on Feb. 11 by Ipsos found that 46 percent of respondents “may not agree with everything the people who have taken part in the truck protests in Ottawa have said, but their frustration is legitimate and worthy of our sympathy.”

Among respondents, support was highest among 18 to 34 year olds at 61 percent, and lowest in the 55+ bracket at 37 percent.

58 percent of Alberta and Saskatchewan respondents, Conservative-led provinces that have served as the vanguard of eliminating vaccine passports and mask mandates from Canada, “Are most likely to align with this argument,” stated the results. 

Ipsos also revealed that sympathy was sharply divided along political party alignment, “Politically, most Conservative voters (59%) are on this side of the argument, while a minority of Bloc (44%), NDP (43%) and Liberal (30%) voters are also aligned.”

The survey was conducted online among 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ between Feb. 8 and 9. 

Notably, Ipsos remarked, “What is also clear is that sympathy with the movement is no longer at a point where the minority, which has been categorized as being on the fringes, is grossly overshadowed by the majority.”

“A sizeable minority of Canadians (37%) agree (16% strongly/21% somewhat) that while they might not say it publicly, they agree with a lot of what the truck protestors are fighting for, rising to 63% of Conservative voters and 45% of Canadians aged 18-34.”

The findings also belayed the impact of extremist symbolism and actors on the public’s opinion of the protest. 24 percent of respondents said “they’d consider joining the truck protest if a small fringe group had not raised Nazi flags and shown their intolerance and racism.”

The “small fringe group” in reference appears to refer to a Jan. 30 instance where a person holding a Nazi flag was photographed among a group also holding Gadsden flags, Canadian flags, and a slogan decrying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that has gained increasingly more water as the protest, and the federal government’s response, has evolved.

Independent media outlet True North Canada offered the public $1,000 for information as to the identity of the carrier, which quickly increased to $6,500 as a result of crowd funded additions.

In the process of its investigation, TNC discovered information that cast significant doubt on the veracity of the notion that the Nazi emblem was carried by a member of the Freedom Convoy.

On Feb. 12, National Post and Nikkei Asia columnist Rupa Subramanya posted on Twitter that a group of “counter protestors” who marched in Ottawa in favor of expelling the Freedom Convoy and returning to lockdown and contained an individual carrying the Communist Party’s hammer and sickle flag of blood. 

The incident, which occurred at an event alongside the flags of multiple labor unions, appears to have gone entirely unreported by Canadian establishment media outlets.

Ipsos’s findings come in contrast to an online Feb. 7 poll conducted by Ledger on behalf of The Canadian Press among 1,546 Canadians aged 18+ between Feb. 4 and Feb. 6.

At the time, Ledger’s survey found that only 32 percent of Canadians either strongly support or somewhat support “the message the trucker convoy (also known as Freedom Convoy) protests are conveying of no vaccine mandates and less public health measures.”

Nonetheless, dissenting voices against the Convoy were loud and rambunctious in a multiple choice segment of both polls. In Ledger’s poll, a question asking “indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about the trucker convoy (also known as the Freedom Convoy) protest in Ottawa” found that 65 percent of respondents agreed with the following statement:

“The convoy is a small minority of Canadians who are selfishly thinking only about themselves and not the thousands of Canadians who are suffering through delayed surgeries and postponed treatments because of the ongoing pandemic.”

In Ipsos’s poll, sentiment was similar. 59 percent said they either agreed strongly or somewhat with the statement: “The truck protest is mostly a group of anti-vaxxers and bigots intent on causing mayhem and they should not be allowed to protest.”

On the question of Trudeau’s decision to not meet with Convoy organizers, the nation is mostly split. 53 percent of Canadians said “the Prime Minister is right to refuse to meet with the truck protestors to hear their grievances,” leaving 47 percent who disagreed “that this is the right decision.”

Ipsos noted that 81 percent of voters who feel Trudeau’s response is right are Liberal voters.

In June of 2020, shortly after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Justin Trudeau “made an appearance at an anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill” where he “joined the large crowd in kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds — which is how long a Minneapolis police officer held down George Floyd with his knee on his neck before he died,” according to federally funded messaging outlet Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Reporting by CNN characterized the event using an even clearer light in a June 6, 2020 article dubbed Justin Trudeau Takes a Knee at Black Lives Matter Demonstration on Parliament Hill.

BLM is a known Marxist revolutionary organization that currently has tens of millions of dollars in outstanding and unaccounted funding.