Trucking companies lose drivers as new border vaccine mandate comes into force
Jan 17, 2022 1 min, 16 secs

Trucking companies are already feeling the impact of the federal government’s border vaccination requirement, with a sizable number of drivers leaving the business ahead of the new rule that came into force over the weekend.

Truckers had previously been exempt from border vaccination requirements as essential service providers.

Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, said the proportion of Canadian drivers who regularly cross the border and who are not fully vaccinated could be as high as 20 per cent.

Millian said the introduction of the vaccination requirement on Saturday does not appear to have affected wait times at the border over the weekend.

The trucking industry was thrown into disarray last week when a spokesperson from the Canadian Border Services Agency said truck drivers would be exempt from the vaccine requirement.

Millian said, with companies dispatching unvaccinated drivers to the border in expectation that mandate would not be coming into effect.

Dennis Darby, president and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, said about $1.5-billion in goods travels between the U.S.-Canada border a day, and 80 per cent of it goes by truck.

He said that manufactured products, such as car parts or packaged food products, are at risk of being in short supply, since many materials such as ingredients and chemicals move back and forth from the border through different stages of the manufacturing process.

He said he supports the government’s effort to incentivize vaccination, but hopes the fallout won’t be too severe for businesses and consumers.

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