Canadian Truckers Protest Fuel Prices
February 21, 2000
Canadian independent truckers staged protests in two different areas Monday to protest high fuel prices and low rates.
In Ontario, independent truckers brought traffic to a crawl yesterday in the middle of rush hour by traveling in a slow convoy on one of Canada's busiest highways, the 401 north of Toronto. Other drivers simply parked their rigs. On Sunday, 1,000 truckers met to coordinate the shutdown. They promised the shutdown would be peaceful, legal and would not block highways. They pocketed their keys at midnight and vowed to stay off the roads until their demands are heard. Shortly after midnight, a truckstop worker told the Calgary Herald that it was so quiet it was like a funeral.
In Nova Scotia, however, hundreds of truckers set up blockades on the Trans-Canada Highway at the border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to protest high fuel costs and toll roads. The truckers let passenger vehicles through, but blocked commercial traffic.
A spokesman for the truckers says many of them won't budge until the governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick shut down the toll booths. The Nova Scotia government is seeking a court injunction to stop the blockade.
Canada's CBC news reports that these actions come on the same day that oil-producing countries hinted they have reached a consensus on the need to increase crude oil output. Dicussions are under way in Dubai on how much.