Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian Trucking Alliance releases statement opposing vaccine mandate

CTA estimates that, by the time the domestic vaccine mandate takes effect, between 15,000 and 30,000 Canadian truck drivers would immediately exit the supply chain or choose to work for Driver Inc, companies.

December 13, 2021  by CM Staff

TORONTO — According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the government of Canada’s decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for domestic federally regulated workers in the trucking industry – including many truck drivers who have been delivering products to Canadians throughout the pandemic – would put an even bigger strain on an already beleaguered supply chain.

The CTA announcement comes after Canada and the U.S. released plans last month to mandate vaccines for truck drivers crossing the border.

CTA is calling on Ottawa, Washington, and all members of the supply chain to meet and discuss the impacts of such implementing these mandates in early 2022 and consider an alternative policy approach and timeline to protect the health and welfare of the Canadian supply chains and the economy.

The Canadian public is taking notice and has begun to feel the impact of supply chain challenges on their lives at home and at work. A Nanos Research poll commissioned by CTA in November found that an overwhelming majority of Canadians – 83 percent – have concern about the supply chain fragility and feel that it’s becoming harder to get goods. In Western Canada (the Prairies, in particular), this unease was expressed by almost 90 percent.

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Combined with the cross-border vaccine mandate announced last month, CTA estimates that, by the time the domestic vaccine mandate also takes effect, between 15,000 and 30,000 Canadian truck drivers would immediately exit the supply chain or choose to work for Driver Inc, companies – a growing subset of carriers operating in the underground economy, who sidestep safety and environmental rules and who routinely misclassify employee truck drivers as contractors to avoid tax and labour obligations, like the proposed vaccine mandate. Although compliant majority of the trucking and governments industry have worked hard to identify and stamp some of these unscrupulous carriers, CTA is concerned that a domestic vaccine mandate could fuel their growth in the market.

“This is not a trucking issue at all. This is a supply chain issue that can have severe ripple effects throughout the entire North American economy,” says CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “It hasn’t been easy, but the Canadian trucking industry has continued to move the economy through the global pandemic as efficiently as possible despite continuous challenges and obstacles. We have done that by working with governments and health care experts to implement health and safety protocols that keep our workforce safe while also ensuring factories keep operating and store shelves remain full.”