The Canadian Truck Alliance is speaking out against a convoy of unvaccinated truck drivers protesting a new vaccine mandate for cross-border travel.
All truckers who cross the border from Canada into the U.S. must be vaccinated to avoid a 14-day quarantine under a new policy passed last Saturday (Jan. 15).
Up to 26,000 of the 160,000 drivers who make regular trips across the Canada-U.S. border would likely be sidelined as a result of the vaccine mandate in both countries, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the American Trucking Associations.
Some of those truckers have now organized a “Freedom Convoy” that will travel from Vancouver to Ottawa starting Sunday (Jan. 23). Another convoy is set to leave from Enfield, Nova Scotia on Jan. 27. Organizers have called for truckers from across Canada to join.
An online fundraiser to cover costs for the truckers has already raised $1.6 million of their $2 million goal.
In an emailed statement, Alliance president Stephen Laskowski said the vast majority of the Canadian trucking industry is vaccinated the overall industry vaccination rate among truck drivers closely mirrors that of the general public.
Laskowski said the Alliance “strongly disapproves” of any protests on public roadways and said the convoy interferes with public safety. He called on truckers who are unhappy with the government to hold organized, lawful events on Parliament Hill or contact their local MPs.
“The Government of Canada and the United States have now made being vaccinated a requirement to cross the border. This regulation is not changing so, as an industry, we must adapt and comply with this mandate,” Laskowski said. “The only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated.”
– With files from the Canadian Press
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