A small convoy of commercial trucks and dozens of other vehicles made their way from Campbell River to Victoria over the weekend, protesting the federal government’s vaccine mandate for truckers crossing into Canada from the United States.
The mandate requires unvaccinated truckers to quarantine for 14 days after coming into Canada.
Currently, the US has a similar law for truck drivers entering the United States.
On January 15th, the federal government’s mandate came into effect, despite a previous statement from the Canada Border Services Agency that said Canadian truck drivers would be exempt.
As a result, hundreds of commercial truckers began their ‘Freedom Rally’, making their way across Canada to Ottawa in opposition to the new government mandate, with a convoy of a smaller scale taking place right here on Vancouver Island.
According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), approximately 90% of truckers in Canada are vaccinated.
In a statement posted to their website, the CTA outlined the statistics on vaccinated Canadian truck drivers as well as their thoughts on the protests occurring across the country.
“The [CTA] does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges,” the release said.
“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.”
According to the CTA and American Trucking Association, up to 26,000 of the 160,000 drivers who make regular trips across the Canada/US border would be affected by this new mandate.