Canadian government pushes for vaccine mandate for international truckers
by CM Staff
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) calls on the government to delay the deadline for mandatory vaccination and work to find a revised timeline that minimizes labour and supply chain impacts.
CALGARY — The Government of Canada announced a vaccine mandate for international truckers which will require drivers coming into Canada to be fully vaccinated. The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) calls on the government to delay the deadline for mandatory vaccination and work to find a revised timeline that minimizes labour and supply chain impacts.
Disruptions in supply chain and significant inflation of costs due to COVID, along with the shortage in commercial drivers, have challenged the energy services industry since the onset of the pandemic. According to PSAC, the implementation of vaccination mandates for cross border truck drivers will only aggravate things further and add to the strain on an industry.
Important upcoming dates:
Effective January 15, unvaccinated drivers will have to quarantine for 14 days, with mandatory screening on the first and eighth days of quarantine. Truck drivers will continue to be exempted from pre-arrival testing requirements, however, unvaccinated drivers who are not Canadian will be turned back at the border.
Effective January 22, the U.S. will enforce their version of the vaccine mandate and will all require all truck drivers entering the country to be fully vaccinated, turning away unvaccinated non-U.S. nationals. American citizens and permanent residents may still enter the U.S. regardless of their vaccination status, but face additional testing hurdles.
This will be the first time since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 that commercial drivers will see mandated requirements that will impact the ability to cross the border. In their classification as essential workers, they were previously exempt from testing and quarantine requirements that were applied to citizens engaging in non-essential travel.
According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), in the second quarter of 2021 there were over 18,000 truck driver job vacancies across Canada. Projections show that the trucking and logistics sector will be looking to hire almost 28,000 new workers each year up until 2025, with more than 60 per cent of this figure representing a demand for drivers. The shortage of drivers has been a concern for several years due to an increase in older drivers retiring with not enough new drivers to replace them. COVID-19 has only increased the pressure on the industry and opened further vacancies.