Manufacturers join call to delay truck driver vaccine mandates

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Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) is joining in the call to delay vaccine mandates for cross-border truck drivers that are scheduled to take hold beginning Jan. 15.

In a statement issued today, CME said manufacturers on both side of the border believe the mandates will worsen supply chain disruptions already being experienced.

(Photo: istock)

“Manufacturers are strong supporters of vaccinating all American and Canadian citizens, and that includes truckers. However, a vaccine mandate for truckers, at this time, will sideline one fifth of that workforce, make the trucking labour shortage go from bad to worse, and do severe damage to already struggling supply chains,” said president and CEO Dennis Darby.

“Canadian manufacturing is already struggling with labour shortages and massive supply chain disruptions. Reducing North America’s cross-border trucking workforce by almost one fifth will do a lot of damage to our sector at a time when we can least afford it.”

Canada’s vaccine mandate for border-crossing drivers was scheduled for Jan. 15, just ahead of a previously announced American mandate that is widely reported to take effect. Jan. 22.

Canada’s federal government has also announced plans to introduce vaccine mandates to all federally regulated truck drivers, which would include those who cross provincial borders in their work. Federally regulated trucking operations have to date been exempted from vaccine mandates applied to other transportation modes.

Much of the opposition against the vaccine mandates has been voiced by trucking organizations including the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), American Trucking Associations (ATA), and Private Motor Truck Council of Canada.

Given existing vaccination levels, the CTA estimates 15,000 to 30,000 truck drivers would leave the cross-border work, shift to businesses in the underground economy, or leave work in the supply chain because of the Canada and U.S. mandates.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • Canadian carriers are publicly towing the line and espousing the rhetoric that the vaccine mandate is a bad thing for the the supply chain, but secretly every last one of them is on bended knee, praying to the deity of their choice, that the Government royally screws this up and continues on its blinded downhill slide to protect the masses from solitary workers and enforce the the mandate as originally written.
    Why would carriers pray for that? Money. Pure and simple. Money.
    This Government mandated fiasco will make the spot market rate surge during the 2021 peak season and the west coast flood effects on the supply chain look like chump change.
    Just look at where rates went with the current driver force. Now take 20 to 30 percent of those drivers (depending on who you listen to) and put them on the sidelines. If you thought $5.00 for a can of soda was ridiculous, wait until the first of February 2022.
    It is going to be EPIC.
    The plunder and pillage carriers are going to put on the supply chain will be historic.

    • I do not see a plan to provide and pay for these people when get sick or injured except homeless shelters. Too many sick truck driver got back to ont by a non-profit organization huron easy share

  • Get the vaccine number one and number two than number three and what next ???
    I got two of them and this is it.
    I like going to the USA cross border but if any more of this is coming up this will put an end to what I like to do’

  • Last years hero’s, became this years peasants. The drivers I spoke to who are actually getting it, are doing it just to keep their job. Not because they feel this injection is effective or trustworthy. Disgusting position to be put in.