Beginning yesterday, January 22nd, all truckers crossing the Canadian border, whether Canadian or American, have to be vaccinated. That mandate will surely cause headaches both for the truckers themselves and the customers they deliver goods to as 15% of Canadian truckers and 50% of American truckers are unjabbed.
In fact, the problems are already cropping up. As the Calgary Herald reported of a Calgary grocery store struggling under the added burden of dealing with supply shortages caused by the mandate:
This has led to shortages in staples their customers have been accustomed to relying on them for like grapes, strawberries and citrus. When they can get some of those items, the price has gone up exponentially . Grapes that used to be 99 cents a pound are now running $4.99 a pound.
With the trucks Freestone can secure, they are focussing on vegetable deliveries, and the cost of those trucks has also skyrocketed. The average truck out of California pre-pandemic cost Freestone $6,000 to 7,000, now it’s costing them $9,000 to 11,000.
So, it’s near-impossible to get goods in a speedy manner and far more expensive to get the trucks in the first place.
But consumers aren’t the only ones being deleteriously impacted by the mandate; the unvaxxed truckers face the tough choice of either not being able to work their cross-border routes or taking a vaccine they don’t want to.
That’s led to a major protest in Canada, where, according to The Conservative Treehouse, a massive “Freedom Convoy” of truckers has raised $1.8 million for food and expenses and is headed to Ottowa to protest the mandate. Watch the Freedom Convoy here:
And while Canada’s citizens are enthusiastic enough about the protest to donate that massive amount of money to help the truckers express their displeasure with the mandate, the Canadian Truckers Alliance came out against the protest rather than standing with the truckers (what an alliance that is). In a statement, it said:
The vast majority of the Canadian trucking industry is vaccinated with the overall industry vaccination rate among truck drivers closely mirroring that of the general public. Accordingly, most of our nation’s hard-working truck drivers are continuing to move cross-border and domestic freight to ensure our economy continues to function.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges. CTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety – are not how disagreements with government policies should be expressed. Members of the trucking industry who want to publicly express displeasure over government policies can choose to hold an organized, lawful event on Parliament Hill or contact their local MP. What is not acceptable is disrupting the motoring public on highways and commerce at the border.
“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,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated.”
We’ll see who wins this battle. Maybe the truckers will give in, maybe the government will. But, as a reminder, if even a small percentage of truckers started quitting it would have disastrous economic effects; the governments that are oppressing truckers with this mandate are playing with fire and risking economic catastrophe.