The federal government and Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) are committing to work together on long-term solutions to supply chain constraints and labor shortages, issuing a joint statement that also reinforces the role of vaccination.
The statement comes as convoys of protesters head to Ottawa for a weekend rally that will argue against a vaccine mandate that Canada applied to border-crossing truck drivers on Jan. 15. The U.S. version of the rules — the first to be announced — were imposed Jan. 22.
“The Government of Canada and the Canadian Trucking Alliance both agree that vaccination, used in combination with preventative public health measures, is the most effective tool to reduce the risk of Covid-19 for Canadians, and to protect public health,” says the statement.
It was issued by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough, and CTA president Stephen Laskowski.
The document recognizes “unprecedented challenges” in the trucking industry, and acknowledges that truckers have “delivered for Canadians” in spite of them. It also refers to how the government and CTA have worked with one another and other key partners to identify emerging issues and mitigate disruptions.
Long-term strategies are needed to reach real and lasting results to address supply chain constraints and labor challenges, it adds.
“Moving forward, the Government of Canada, the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the industry at large will continue our shared dialogue on the challenges facing this sector. By working together, we are confident that we can find solutions that will help Canadians and industry alike.”
The CTA previously predicted that the vaccine requirements could lead to a loss of 12,000-16,000 cross-border drivers, based on existing vaccine rates. Trucking HR Canada has also reported that Canada’s broader truck transportation sector had an 8% job vacancy rate in the third quarter of 2021.
The alliance stressed in a separate statement that it does not support on-road protests.
“The Government of Canada and the United States have now made being vaccinated a requirement to cross the border. This regulation is not changing so, as an industry, we must adapt and comply with this mandate,” Laskowski said in that statement. “The only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated.”
Have your say
This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.