Canadian Truckers Face Sweeping Vax Mandate as Trucking Groups Sound Alarm
Ottawa, ON — Canadian trucking groups continue sounding the alarm about the destructive impact looming COVID-19 vaccination requirements for truckers will have on the supply chain.
Canadian governmental leaders are set to impose sweeping vaccination rules for federally regulated workers, including truckers, next month.
“Making vaccination mandatory across all federally-regulated workplaces will protect workers, their families, and their communities,” Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan Jr. said last week announcing the new regulations. “It will help us finish the fight against COVID-19 and help us sustain a strong and stable economic recovery.”
However, groups such as the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) are warning of serious consequences to the supply chain if the government follows through on the plan.
“This is a supply chain issue that can have severe ripple effects throughout the entire North American economy,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski.
CTA estimates that, by the time the domestic vaccine mandate takes effect, between 15,000 and 30,000 Canadian truck drivers will likely exit the supply chain.
In fact, a recent survey of CTA member carriers revealed as many as 20% of Canada’s driving workforce could choose to take the off ramp instead of taking the jab.
Also complicating matters is the impending cross-border vaccination rules.
U.S. border officials will begin requiring foreign truck drivers to provide proof of full vaccination on January 22, 2022, while Canadian and Mexican officials will implement similar policies as of January 15, 2022.
According to a survey conducted by the PMTC, it expects over 31,000 cross-border truckers will leave the industry as 33% of drivers in cross-border fleets are not fully vaccinated.
The PMTC is urging leaders to delay implementation of the mandate until at least April 15, arguing that providing more time to comply could reduce driver exits to about 23,000.
Meanwhile, as Transportation Nation Network reported last week, a group of 14 Republican federal lawmakers are imploring President Biden to exempt truckers from cross-border vaccination requirements.
“We urge your Administration to reengage our northern neighbor and leading export partner to establish a reciprocal policy for cross-border truck drivers that does not include a vaccine mandate and will not disrupt the North American supply chain,” the GOP Senators wrote.
Despite trucking stakeholders’ best efforts, this story does not appear to be going away any time soon and has the potential to be one of the biggest in transportation as we head into 2022.