Almost one in five Canadian truckers is South Asian, but many don’t see themselves represented in the trucker convoy

Sikh trucker – Photo:

By Uday Rana | Globe and Mail | Canada |

When the freedom convoy was rolling into Canada’s capital this week, Arshdeep Singh Kang was more than 4,440 kilometres away in Los Angeles making a delivery.

The 30-year-old long-haul trucker followed the news of the convoy on his phone during rest stops, but he certainly had no desire to be part of it.

“I don’t believe in the issues they are raising,” Mr. Kang said. “I know there are some South Asian people who support this convoy, but I couldn’t see any of my people in the videos of the convoy.”

According to the 2016 census, South Asians comprise 18 per cent of all Canadian truckers. In major cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, they make up more than half the industry’s work force.

And yet many drivers such as Mr. Kang have no stake in the protest in Ottawa, even though its supporters have dubbed it a “truckers’ movement.”

Jagroop Singh, the president of the Ontario Aggregate Trucking Association, said, “Nobody invited me or any South Asian truckers I know. In fact, we don’t even know who the organizers of this protest are. Nobody asked us if we agree with their demands.”

The convoy may have started as a protest against vaccine mandates, which some truckers say threaten their livelihoods, but it has now embraced several issues. It has drawn support from far-right and extremist groups, with one vlogger even saying he hoped it would become “Canada’s Jan. 6” – a reference to the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol last year by a mob of Donald Trump supporters and right-wing groups. Many Ottawa residents and journalists have reported seeing Confederate flags in the convoy.

Read the full story, ‘Almost one in five Canadian truckers is South Asian, but many don’t see themselves represented in the trucker convoy’ (The Globe and Mail, 29 Jan 2022), here.


Sikhs, finding religious freedom on the road, take outsize role in American trucking (Asia Samachar, 22 July 2021)

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