OOIDA calls on Canada and U.S. to lift truck driver vaccine mandates

The Owner-Operator Independent Truckers Association (OOIDA) is calling on Canada and the U.S. to lift vaccine mandates applied to border-crossing truck drivers.

In Feb. 7 letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden, association president Todd Spencer said the rules are “arbitrary” and do not reflect operating realities in trucking.

truck driver vaccine protest
Several convoys and blockades have argued against border-related vaccine mandates among other pandemic-related restrictions. (File photo: John G. Smith)

“Prior to January 2022, truckers were operating safely back and forth across the U.S-Canadian border to ensure North Americans had the food and supplies they needed without having to show proof of vaccination or disclosing any other aspects of their personal medical history,” he said in the letters.

“Since commercial drivers spend the majority of their time alone in their vehicle and outside, there is no evidence that truckers present a higher risk of spreading the virus.”

The association says its 150,000 North American members include 1,000 Canadian truck drivers.

Canada introduced its vaccine mandate Jan. 15, while the U.S. version of the rules were implemented Jan. 22.

In the letter to Biden, Spencer also noted the U.S. Department of Labor acknowledged this fact when the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed a testing and vaccination standard for businesses with more than 100 employees. It recognized that proposed standard would not apply to truck drivers who only encounter other people in outdoor environments.

“Many drivers have elected not to operate cross-border under the new rules, while others continue to experience excessive wait times at border entry points because of the new protocols,” Spencer added.

Protests relating to the vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions have blocked traffic at crossings including the Ambassador Bridge in Ontario and the Alberta border crossing at Coutts.

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  • The fed and ont gov needs to listen to them All owners ops and small trucking companies should join their membership is affordable.

  • The mandate was ridiculous right from the beginning. I’d like to know whose idea it was. Trudeau himself admitted twice in his speech before he went into hiding that 90% of Canadian truckers are vaccinated. That is well above the norm for States or Provinces, so why impose a mandate. It’s devoid of logical reasoning and any scientific evidence. The worst part is that these truckers have been faithfully doing their jobs for two years and now it feels like they are being targeted. It’s unfair, unneighborly, and authoritarian. Let truckers (and everyone else for that matter at this point) just get on with their jobs and do them! I’m proud of the peaceful protest of these truckers who have for two years been peacefully and respectfully doing their job.

  • Very well said Betty J !

    I agree. The truckers are at the least risk for Covid because they are in their trucks 90% of the time and have no interaction with anyone. Most guys have food in their truck fridge so they can stay away from restaurants. Come on Trudeau….really???

  • The impact of the protests on society is very similar to union workers striking in ports for higher wages or school teachers walking out of the job as we have seen in the past.
    I am happily vaccinated however believe that there is no risk to others when a trucker drives across the border alone in his truck, or if a person that tests negative boards an airplane. Mandates like not allowing people to eat in a restaurant if they don’t have a QR code are designed to force people to do something they might now feel good about. And i can understand that many people do not feel good about being forced to … or else.
    restricting food to truckers with their families is something they used to do in Europe in the middle ages when they tried to starve out communities in castles. Time to listen and talk government .

    • I agree. Many professions such as health workers in the ER and ICU have worked throughout this pandemic from the onset and now are told to do it or lose your job. Really? They, like the truckers have been through the worst of it keeping things going. Restrictions are not helping anything. I’m vacinated and it doesn’t make any difference to my body if I encounter a vacinated or unvacinated person, I can still get or give to either.

  • [The following piece is a letter to the editor.}


    Historian Thomas Cahill described how Irish monks, after the fall of Rome, saved Western Civilization from utter destruction by pagan barbarians sweeping across Europe, by preserving Christian worship and classical learning within their monasteries. Today, truckers in Canada and elsewhere are saving the Western ideals of responsible government and sane society from the mad tyranny and wicked perversions of abstract liberal-Marxist politics.

    Reprobate liberals control our institutions, but the freedom convoys prove they don’t control all of us. Liberal elites view truckers as unwashed deplorables – uneducated serfs who need to just shut up and obey, and quietly deliver the goods — to the back door. To liberals, truckers are lowly nobodies who vote the wrong way, whose lives and livelihoods just don’t matter.

    Liberals have brainwashed many people in liberalism, through the failed government schools and woke Higher Ed. But some folk, by God’s grace, have evaded the brainwashers. Blue-collar folk, many with only high-school diplomas or GEDs, are now David challenging the Goliath liberal elite. In their big rigs, on their CB radios – un-monitored by Big Brother –Davidic truckers have chatted up a political revolution that is rocking the Western World. The physically imposing big rigs — civilian tanks rumbling in armoured divisions — have rolled in, flags flying and horns blasting, to occupy government centers and major trade arteries. In Ottawa and elsewhere, our Leftist overlords are now cowering in impotent rage. And that’s a big 10-4.

  • In Canada, about 90% of truckers are vaccinated. I’ve heard that for US truckers, that number is far lower. I have to wonder, how many cross border drivers are now restricted to operating domestically? I have a feeling the effects of the mandates will take some time to show on store shelves. I deliever groceries, and I know how fragile that part of the system is, and I know how much comes from or through the US. The fact that we’ve operated safely without border mandates for nearly 2 years, makes the new mandates a slap in the face really.

  • Bring some sanity to the table and immediately lift the vaccine mandate for truckers. Truck drivers, grocery store staff, health care workers, teachers, and emergency first responders worked diligently and bravely to provide our needs all the months pre-vaccine, only to be persecuted and lose their livelihoods after a vaccine comes out? This is how we repay them? This particular vaccine doesn’t even work well, supposedly resulting in a milder case of Covid-19 — very difficult to prove one way or the other. One can still get and spread the virus. A vaccine must remain a personal choice. If it does not, where will the mandates end. Some will be harmed by any vaccine as has always been the case. If you believe an injection or other measures will help you, then go for it, and allow others to make choices in their own best interests.