Kennedy Stewart, the mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, hit back at Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, after Cruz predicted there would be "empty shelves" across the city in response to Stewart's rebuke of an ongoing protest led by Canadian truckers who've pushed back against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
"The Freedom Convoy," an ongoing protest in Canada against COVID-19 vaccine requirements for truckers to re-enter the country by land, has continued to garner headlines amid concerns that organizers and groups have been involved with white nationalist contingents, QAnon adherents, and other far-right groups.
Stewart released a pointed statement to the trucker protesters, stating in no uncertain terms:
"Vancouver doesn't want you here. Make your point and go home."
Cruz responded to Stewart's statement saying that Vancouver residents "might feel differently" about the convoy in the event that there are suddenly "empty shelves" in stores.
Stewart responded shortly afterward, reminding Cruz that the protesters comprise a minority of truckers because in Canada, 90 percent of truckers are, in fact, vaccinated.
Stewart said that Vancouver's "store shelves are fine thanks to the 90% of Canadian truckers who are fully vaccinated," adding that he is "Too busy high-fiving all the awesome folks" in the city who clearly oppose the convoy.
Many have applauded Stewart for his response and criticized Cruz for his assertions.
Stewart's statements also mirror recent ones from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who dismissed the supply chain disruption concerns as unfounded on the basis that most Canadian truckers have been vaccinated. Trudeau has called the protests "an insult to truth" and criticized protesters who've called for the overthrow of the federal government.
Similarly, Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, has referred to the "Freedom Convoy's" presence in the city of Ottawa as "an occupation."