Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Brad Vis attended the Truckers for Freedom Rally in Mission near his office this past weekend.
This rally, with about 50 people in attendance, was in support of the ongoing protests against vaccine mandates in Ottawa, in which hundreds of truckers and their supporters from across Canada have taken part.
Vis stopped to speak to the local demonstrators, giving a brief, impromptu speech, recorded on video by YouTuber “Mission Action.”
(Warning: The video contains small amounts of coarse language. Viewer discretion is advised.)
“Right now, you’re right to be angry, Everyone has a right to be angry. Our country isn’t normal,” Vis said. “You need to stand up for what you believe in and you need to do it in the way you’re doing it.”
He added they should be thankful for the protesters in Ottawa for demonstrating “in a positive way to let people know that what Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are doing is not okay.”
Vis encouraged the local group in peaceful protesting; over the weekend, he shared two Twitter posts decrying the hate symbols on display in the capital during the protest.
The MP spoke at the House of Commons on Monday, recalling a conversation with Ottawa and Toronto police about the convoy and protests.
“They did say there were definitely some bad apples, and as the grandson of grandparents, all from the Netherlands, who suffered under Nazi occupation, just seeing that flag in my nation’s capital brought me to tears and distress,” Vis said. “It’s impacted my family directly.”
Vis said he had the opportunity to speak on COVID-19 related legislation in Ottawa this week and planned to bring local concerns to Parliament.
“I’m going to say my constituents are angry; they want their lives back,” Vis told the crowd between cheers and honks of support and solidarity from passing vehicles. “If Dr. Bonnie Henry is saying it’s an endemic now, what’s with the continuation (of these mandates)? Why are some of these policies still being enforced?”
Henry – and other health officers across Canada – have not declared COVID-19 to be endemic, which would mean COVID-19 is naturally maintained at a level that does not overwhelm the health care system. Vis later clarified this statement was in response to Henry’s Jan. 21 press conference, during which she said British Columbians need to change their way of thinking about the Omicron variant and her likening risk management for this variant to how other respiratory illnesses are handled.
“We cannot eliminate all risk and I think that’s something we need to understand and accept as this virus has changed and has become part of what we will be living with for years to come,” Henry said on Jan. 21.
When asked directly by the protesters, Vis would not condemn all vaccine mandates.
“I support some of the mandates, but I think I made my position really clear,” Vis said. “I’m going to have to say yes to some of them because it’s not a yes or no question.”