‘One more thing to worry about’: Trucking industry reacts to government’s decision to implement mandatory vaccines once again

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. –

After reports that the federal government was no longer making it mandatory for Canadian truckers to show proof of vaccination to enter the U.S., the feds are now saying they are not backing down on mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for Canadian truckers.

Despite a report late Wednesday that the federal government made a last-minute reversal on the policy, they are now saying “the information shared yesterday was provided in error.”

The new rules mean Canadian truckers coming in to Canada must be fully vaccinated, or face PCR testing and quarantine requirements.

That has some truck drivers feeling frustrated.

“It’s one more thing to worry about,” said Brian Stewart.

“When we get to the border ‘oh, do I have my proper paperwork,’ and now it’s another piece of paper that you have to be aware of and have in place. We’ve already got so much regulation.”

TROUBLE ON BOTH SIDES OF BORDER

The new rules mean Canadian truckers coming in to Canada must be fully vaccinated, or face PCR testing and quarantine requirements.

Local trucking companies say the sudden flip-flop spells trouble on both side of the border.

“This issue with the border crossing with essential drivers is going to cause economic problems,” said Reese Evans, owner of Evans Trucking.

“That problem is not going to be dealt with until Canada and the U.S. sit down and say ‘okay, you know what, this is really essential, we just need to keep letting all truck drivers from both countries go back and forth.’”

Other trucking company owners say more needs to be done to help keep Canada’s economy and supply chain moving.

“We need to keep those trucks moving, and we need to keep those shelves stocked up, said J.D. Gibb, owner of Western Trade Winds Ltd..

“The, whole industry is going to be affected by this, and eventually your shelves and your grocery stores and everywhere else as we saw earlier, that will be affected.”

Gibb also added that even without the vaccine mandate, his company, and many others in Canada are facing a shortage in drivers. He suspects the mandate going ahead as planned will have devastating impacts on the economy and supply chain.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance had previously estimated that the government mandate would see some 16,000 cross-border drivers, or 10 per cent of them hanging up their keys.

Trucks had crossed the border freely for the last 20 months while it remained closed to almost everyone else, as trucking was considered essential to keeping the supply chain flowing.

Beginning Friday, unvaccinated Canadian truckers will have to quarantine when returning to Canada, and unvaccinated foreign truckers will be turned away.

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