Tension escalates between Canadian Government and Trucker Drivers
Canadian truck drivers take a stand after the government enforces vaccine mandates for them effective January 15.
In this video from social media, Lee truck driver tells us why we should “wake up and stock up”.
Lee’s view from the ground is that about 38,000 trucks will stop work, not 10-12,000 as the government says.38,000 loads of freight not coming back into Canada – your food your, your clothes.That’s also 38,000 loads of freight not going out of Canada. If you work at a manufacturing company you’re going to be stockpiled because there won’t be a truck to pick it up.
Truckers across Canada organize a “Convoy to End Mandates”. On January 23rd, they will begin a “slow roll”, from as many border points as possible, to slow down major road transportation routes across the Country. Truckers, and all others, are invited to join the convoy, to send a message to the Government, that forced vaccinations will not be tolerated. See the route map HERE.
Truck drivers were considered an essential service through much of the pandemic and were exempted from the COVID vaccine. But effective January 14, Canadian cross boarder truck drivers must be vaccinated.
According to CTV News, the Truckers Association states about 16,000 Canadian truckers will be removed from the road. Truck drivers on the ground claim that number is over 30,000. At the time of this writing we have not yet had confirmation from the Canadian Truckers Association. This is going to lead to supply chain disruptions and higher prices. The severity will be determined by the actual number of drivers that are affected.
Dominic LeBlanc, Minister Intergovernmental Affairs, as of 2020, was asked by CTV, “What is the plan to mitigate the disruption?”
“Everyone knew about this plan and had plenty of time to get the vaccine. What is disrupting supply chains and endangering supply chains is COVID, is the pandemic. The best way out of the pandemic is vaccination.”
That doesn’t answer the question.
Dave Earle, BC Trucking Association says; “The mandates cause confusion, loss of confidence and frustration among truck drivers.”
The rules were announced mid November as BC was dealing with one of the most significant supply chain disruptions in history from massive flooding. The government backed down from the mandate but had a change of mind a few hours later.
The trucks had been parked for weeks. Now as the trucking industry is just starting to catch up on the backlog it is disrupted again.
The impact is expected to be felt immediately. While store shelves may not be empty, the price of food from fresh fruit and vegetables to iphones could be going up.
“Requiring COVID-19 vaccines for truck drivers crossing the border into Canada is the right thing to do.”Jean-Yves Duclos, Canadian Health Minister
From the Calgary Herald January 15th:
Provincial and national industry experts remain concerned about staffing shortages and supply chain issues as vaccination mandates for truck drivers come into effect.
On Saturday, all unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers returning from the United States must meet testing and quarantine requirements, the federal government said Thursday. Truck drivers must prove they have received two doses of vaccine to bypass these measures.
The U.S. moves forward with the same requirements on January 22.
Concern centres on the wider effects on the supply chain caused by driver shortages, which are likely to be felt cumulatively in the coming weeks and months, he said.
Message from truckers: “Wake up and Stock up”
There is a lot of support for this convoy. As of today 2,300 people have contributed to a Go Fund Me campaign HERE.
The campaign exceeded their initial $100,000 goal in the first couple of days. Soon after extending that goal the fund is at 92% of their goal. The fund will help pay for gas, food and accommodation for the many truckers joining the convoy.
This is not the first time truck drivers took to the road in protest.
In 1973 Truck Drivers Shut Down America to Protest Oil Prices – and Became Folk Heroes
“The strike started when one driver, mad as hell about the OPEC oil crisis, turned off his engine and got on his CB radio.”
At this point it seems both sides are firm in their positions. As the old adage goes, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.