While supply chain disruption has caused shortages of consumer goods in Canada, the opinion of some in the trucking industry is that those issues may grow larger, due to new border regulations.
The trucking industry was caught by surprise on Jan. 12 when the Canada Border Services Agency sent a statement to media saying that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated truck drivers crossing into Canada from the United States would remain exempt from the vaccine mandate that had long been expected to come into force last weekend.
The federal government reversed that the next afternoon with a statement that said the information shared the day before had been sent in error. The exemption would still end Jan. 15, meaning truck drivers would need to be fully vaccinated if they wanted to avoid a two-week quarantine and pre-arrival molecular test for COVID-19 before crossing into Canada.
To oppose these mandates and other COVID restrictions across the country, there is an estimated 1,600 truckers from across Canada driving to Ottawa.
Trucker, Chris Barber from Swift Current, Saskatchewan representing the Freedom Convoy 2022 spoke with us.
“I have a lot of friends who are actually losing their jobs over this, enough is enough,” said Barber.
While Barber is not sure how many trucking loads come and go into Canada and the United States each day, he did share there have been times when he pulled up to Portal, North Dakota where the truckers have been lined up for two miles to get through customs into Canada.
“My mother was in Walmart in Swift Current just a couple of days ago, she said the meat aisle was completely empty, there was some fresh produce but not very much, the store shelves are draining slowly because of this,” said Barber.
“Let me stress too we aren’t anti-vaccine we’re anti-mandate, I think a lot of Canadians are frustrated with the mandates, the government is telling us what to do when to do it and I think we’re tired of that,” said Barber.
The convoy is expected to arrive in Ottawa on January 29, 2022