On the 'Freedom Convoy' protest, with Canadian cross-border owner-operator Mike Murchison

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Updated Feb 14, 2022

If you’ve been seeing news this week and last from North of the U.S.-Canada border and wondering just what’s happening with the so-called “Freedom Convoy” protests, soon entering their third week, hear a long take on it all in today's edition of Overdrive Radio. Alberta, Canada-headquartered owner-operator Mike Murchison, while not a direct participant in those protests, has nonetheless been paying very close attention, and is a clear-eyed watcher of what’s going on in Canadian trucking and society.

He narrates his hauls and so much more via the Road Warrior News publication, out of Toronto, and operates principally in the Western parts of both Canada and the United States, wholly dependent on cross-border freight for his business' success. 

[Related: Faces of the Road: Canadian songwriter/owner-operator Mike Murchison]

Much of today's podcast derives from a conversation with Murchison early this week on Tuesday, February 8, yet when I spoke briefly with the owner-operator this morning, he noted further efforts that had come to light to attempt to end the protests by Canadian national and provincial governments. Ontario leadership had just declared a state of emergency in part aimed at the shutdown of the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, which by some estimates accounts for as much as 40% of all U.S.-Canada trade.

The emergency declaration came with threats of fines, license suspensions and more for those impeding that bridge’s traffic, and out in Alberta more ramp-ups in enforcement activity were under way, he said, at the blockaded Coutts border crossing.

The podcast touches on more than just that, though:

  • The protests' roots in the U.S./Canadian cross-border vaccination requirements for essential travelers, including commercial haulers, implemented last month;
  • The outsize importance of border crossings to Canadian owner-operators and drivers, compared to those in the U.S.;
  • And the generally more sweeping and enforced pandemic-related restrictions in Canada, compared to what communities in the U.S. have seen.

And more. Take a listen: 

Read some of Mike Murchison's Road Warrior stories, and hear a song he wrote inspired by the early parts of the protests via this link. You can hear his brand-new "One More Chance" single below, written on the occasion of a longtime friend's long bout with cancer on the occasion of his passing. In the podcast, Murchison noted the tune is intended to serve as a reminder for "people to stop and take a look at what's important in life," the small things we all cherish, but ultimately take for granted.  

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