WINNIPEG, Man. – The province of Manitoba has set up check points at various provincial border crossings with high traffic volumes to provide information to motorist about Covid-19, and other western provinces could do the same.
Some commercial drivers entering Manitoba have been delayed due to these check stops, but should now be permitted to bypass the stop in an effort to keep essential goods flowing to and from the province.
The Manitoba government indicated to Today’s Trucking that “commercial trucks are allowed to pass through to ensure efficient movements of essential goods. Provincial staff are currently not passing out pamphlets to commercial vehicles. Large trucks are bypassing the checkpoints where it is safe to do so and where it is not safe, they are rolling through the checkpoints.”
Non-essential motorists are being given pamphlets about Covid-19 safety, personal health precautions, social distancing, and self-isolation directives when entering the province.
The provinces of B.C. and Alberta released a joint statement prior to the Easter long weekend discouraging travel between the two provinces, with the exception of essential commercial travel.
“Let us be clear: Staying home means no traveling – especially across our borders. Instead, we encourage everyone to find ways to connect virtually this long weekend, including by video chat or with phone calls,” the statement read.
B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation told Today’s Trucking that it is vital that flow of essential goods and supplies keeps flowing.
“The transportation network is essential for maintaining the critical supply chain for food, goods and medicine, and ensuring people have access to essential goods and services,” the ministry said. “This includes getting supplies to hospitals, pharmacies, and grocery stores.”
But while the highways between B.C. and Alberta remain open, all non-essential travel is strongly discouraged.
The Alberta government said though there are currently no check points set up at its borders, that could change quickly.
“Check points can be established under both the federal and provincial emergency management legislation,” said a government spokesperson. “The current provincial public health emergency provides the Chief Medical Officer of Health with sufficient abilities to enact orders to minimize the spread of Covid-19.”
Susan Ewart, executive director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association, said no check points have been established at her province’s borders.
“There were some on Hwy 1 on the Manitoba side last week,” she said, “but Saskatchewan has not implemented this at all, nor is there any intention to do so at this point.”
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