Opinion: Mr. Poilievre's effort to sugarcoat Ottawa protestors may backfire
“如果你走进一家杂货店，看到货架上的产品，你应感谢卡车司机。如果你走进一家杂货店，看到空荡荡的货架，感谢 Justine Trudeau。”保守党议员波利耶夫（Pierre Poileivre）的推文发表正值自由车队抗议者聚集在渥太华，抗议强制疫苗之时。竞选联邦保守党领导人的这位Poileivre 先生试图通过边境两边的日益增长的反疫苗情绪而驾驭民粹主义的政治浪潮。他捍卫抗议者无视疫苗规定的自由，称他们是勤奋、守法、和平的卡车司机，“坦率地说，在过去的两年里，是他们让我们的超市货架琳琅满目，是他们在通过辛勤的劳动养活着我们。”在渥太华抗议活动引发强烈争议之际，波利耶夫先生的言论让占领渥太华街道的那些抗议者们的身份受到高度审视。
"If you walk into a grocery store and you see products on the shelves, thank a trucker. If you walk into a grocery store and see empty shelves, thank Justine Trudeau." Pierre Poileivre, the Conservative MP, tweeted as Freedom Convoy protesters gathered in Ottawa, protesting against the vaccine mandate. Poileivre, running for the Conservative leadership, was riding a populist wave as anti-vaccine sentiment grew on both sides of the border. He defended the protesters' defying the vaccine mandate, describing them as hardworking, law-abiding, and peaceful truckers who "quite frankly, kept all of you alive for the last two years by filling your grocery shelves." Amid heated controversy over the protest, Mr. Poilievre's statements have put those occupying Ottawa streets under scrutiny.
自大流行开始以来，长途卡车司机是保持货架库存和加国经济运转的中坚力量。但在卡车运输行业中占有重要地位的来自南亚社区的移民卡车司机却在这场白人主导的抗议活动中基本上没有扮演任何角色。几十年来，货运行业中族裔社区的构成迅速飙升，从 1996 年的 4% 攀升至 2016 年的 25%，而大多数是来自南亚社区的移民们。如今，五分之一的加拿大卡车司机有南亚族裔背景，而多伦多超过 50% 的司机是该社区的成员。2019 年，皮尔区拥有约 2000 家卡车运输公司，这使得途径多伦多以西的皮尔区高速公路成为北美运输量最高的卡车公路。毫无疑问，每天通过该地区所运送价值 18 亿元的商品是GTA绝大部分超市的供货源。
Long haul truck drivers are essential workers who have kept shelves stocked and the economy running since the pandemic started. But the immigrant truckers from the South Asian community -- who have a significant representation in the trucking industry -- have largely no stake in this white-dominated protest. The makeup of racial communities in the trucking industry has soared rapidly over the decades, climbing from 4 percent in 1996 to 25% in 2016 –the majority of South Asian. Today, one in 5 Canadian truck drivers has a South Asian background, and above 50% of drivers in Toronto are members of the South Asian community. In 2019, Peel Region was home to about 2000 trucking companies, making highways that pass through Peel just West of Toronto carry the highest truck volumes on the continent. Undoubtedly, the supply of $1.8 billion of goods traveled daily through the region fills most GTA grocery stores.
但皮尔区辛勤工作的卡车运输社区对疫苗的热情是全国最高的群体。对于数代同住一屋檐下的卡车司机来说，长途运输线路上的病毒风险丛生，每一个停车点，取货站，卸货区和海关卡都是潜在的新冠传播地。截至 2020 年 3 月，皮尔的交通部门已经爆发了 13 次疫情，使卡车司机成为在疫苗接种运动开始前最易受病毒感染的两大职业群体之一。与工作相关的风险促使许多卡车司机迫切接受对病毒保护的疫苗。据加拿大统计局称，有 82.5% 的南亚社区群体表示愿意接种疫苗。
But the hardworking trucking community in Peel has the highest vaccine enthusiasm in the country. Carrying the virus home through highways is the worst nightmare for truckers who live in a multi-generation home because the risks of exposure lurked in every stop along the way, from rest areas to customs to pick up to delivery. The transportation sector in Peel had suffered 13 outbreaks by Mar. 2020, leaving truck drivers among the two leading occupational groups that contracted the virus before the vaccine campaign started. The job-associated risk has prompted many to embrace the vaccines' protection against the virus as 82.5 percent of the South Asian population had reported a willingness to receive the vaccine.
数据显示，疫苗强制令对卡车运输业没有太大影响，因为强制令生效后跨境卡车司机数量几乎没有减少。《卡车司机》杂志的编辑 Mana Gupta 说：”你在这次 Freedom Convey 的抗议活动中几乎看不到任何来自南亚社区的卡车司机，因为整个社区都非常支持疫苗接种运动。”加拿大最大的卡车运输集团 TFL 的大多数司机都接种了 Covid-19。
Data has shown that vaccine mandate has little impact on the trucking industry as the truckers crossing the border have barely dropped in number after it became effective." You hardly see any South Asian truckers in this Freedom Convey protest because the community at large is very pro-vaccine," said Mana Gupta, the editor of a Trucker magazine.TFL, Canada's largest trucking conglomerate, has seen most of its drivers inoculated against Covid-19.
Industry insiders say that the organizers and most people protesting have no direct link to trucking and that protestors' demand does not reflect the trucking industry's key issues. Some protestors had worked for the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP and left their job over its vaccination mandate. Black parliamentarians denounced the movement as a venue for "white supremacists," citing a direct link between protesters and radical organizations.
Undoubtedly, Freedom Convoy protestors do not represent the real pandemic heroes who work around the clock to fill our grocery shelves and who are grateful for the protections the vaccines have offered. The Conservative MP’s efforts to sugarcoat his darling protestors may backfire.
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