Canadian vaccine mandate sees little change in cross-border truck traffic

Fewer truck drivers crossed the Canada-U.S. border in the week after Canada’s new vaccine mandate was imposed, but the drop was in line with a general reduction in overall traffic.

Federal data released this week said 97,321 truck drivers crossed from Jan. 17-23, representing 89.5% of the total seen the week before. But there were 119,343 non-commercial highway travelers, representing 88.2% of the numbers seen the previous week.

cross-border truck volumes
(Source: CBSA)

Canada began to enforce its vaccine mandate for border-crossing truck drivers on Jan. 15, blocking unvaccinated or partially vaccinated U.S. truckers from entering the country. Canadian drivers, while allowed to return from the U.S., faced new testing and quarantine requirements.

The U.S. introduced its vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers on Jan. 22, blocking unvaccinated or partially vaccinated drivers from entering the country.

The total number of truck drivers who crossed from Jan. 17-23 was down when compared to the same week in 2021 (111,360), 2020 (106,785), and 2019 (107,665).

The totals for the week of Jan. 10-16 were also lower than those seen in 2021 (112,055) and 2019 (110,742). There were 102,798 truck drivers recorded during that week in 2020, before pandemic-related restrictions began.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance projected that Canada could lose 12,000-16,000 cross-border truck drivers because of the vaccine mandate, based on community-wide vaccination rates.

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  • So Federal data shows that 97,321 truck drivers crossed from Jan. 17-23, 2022 versus the same week in 2021 (111,360), 2020 (106,785), and 2019 (107,665) – isn’t that a roughly 10% decline in commercial drivers crossing the border???

    With lack of drivers being highlighted as the Achilles heel of our transport industry & being part of the overall supply chain disruptions that are ongoing, I’d think the article is incorrectly titled by saying “little change” – that sounds like a significant change in the wrong direction!

    While I thoroughly support everyone being vaccinated, I feel our federal government was very “tone deaf” to implement a mandate on the same essential workers that they praised and pleaded with to continue working right through the worst parts of the pandemic.

    At one point last fall I believe I heard that in the summer of 2021 (before Omicron) that our CDN population was running an average of 3.5% infection rate whereas the long haul CDN truckers were running an infection rate of less than 1% – which tells me they are picking on the wrong group at the wrong time! With the majority of the time a long haul truck driver lives and works in isolation (no passengers involved) why create a problem with this group now? Seems very silly of the federal government to make this mandate happen at this time!

  • 10% reduction in drivers, that is about in line with the expected loss of drivers. Shortages will not occur overnight but with a replenishment rate of 90% supplies will dwindle down over the coming weeks.

  • So I guess these self important whiners aren’t making the big dent that thought they would. I’m no Trudeau fan but he’s right these clowns represent themselves and some wing nuts that have grabbed on, they sure don’t represent me or the guys I know still running.
    One of them released a statement saying something along the lines that they are sorry for the inconvenience but it’s not their fault it’s the governments fault because they won’t negotiate with a small group of self-appointed trouble makers that represent 1/4 per cent of the population. I suppose it’s the government blowing the horns all day and night right along side a residential area.
    I sincerely hope some smart lawyers put a stop to anymore of this money being given to them until the businesses and whoever else they are harming have a chance to file a claim against them, plenty of people have valid cause. That would be the best way to slap this nonsense down.