How will banning unvaccinated truck drivers affect Canadians?

By Remitbee - Jan 21, 2022

Overview

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government implemented a cross-border vaccine mandate on January 15, requiring people to have their COVID-19 shots before crossing from the United States to Canada. Similar rules will also take place an the United States on January 22 to limit the spread of the coronavirus and encourage more individuals to get vaccinated.

As the mandate took place, a question has been raised about whether the COVID vaccine will be mandatory for truck drivers -- and the answer to that is yes. The cross-border vaccine mandate includes truck drivers and other essential workers!

However, there was a significant last-minute misunderstanding over the new regulations' access for unvaccinated truckers on the Canadian side. Although Canada cannot bar its citizens from entering the country, they must submit to a test and be quarantined if positive and do not have proof of vaccination.

Last Wednesday, a CBSA official caused uncertainty by claiming to the media that unvaccinated Canadian truckers would be allowed an exemption. However, the next day, federal transportation, health, and public safety ministries released a joint statement stating that the CBSA's information was wrong.

Truckers returning from the U.S. who are not completely vaccinated are still subject to PCR testing and quarantine regulations. While foreign truck drivers still need to get vaccinated, and if they don't, they will be denied entry at the border.

How is the new rule affecting the Canadians?

Concerns have been made concerning the vaccine mandate's possible effects on an already stressed supply chain, resulting in driver shortages, disruption of business, and increased inflation.

Driver Shortages

According to the federal government, the Canadian truck driver vaccine mandate announced in November would affect around 8,000 unvaccinated truckers. However, Stephen Laskowski, the Ontario Trucking Association president, estimates the figure is closer to 16,000 people.

He mentioned that what will happen and is already happening is that the supply chain will adjust to having fewer drivers. Already, there is a driver shortage. So, there will be a shift in the membership's priorities favouring their customers.

Corporations that may be more active are obtaining truck transportation to cross the Canada-United States border. Others who cannot be as forceful will have difficulty moving their product.

Supply Chain

The global supply chain issue, caused by a lack of resources, delays in foreign shipping, and labour shortages, has not affected all enterprises equally.

It has a tremendous impact on small businesses. If they don't have a specific product, customers will go straight to the big company because they can probably get their items faster.

Small Canadian businesses have had to be resourceful to survive the global supply chain crisis since large retailers rely on their scale to keep shelves stocked during the crucial shopping season.

Disrupt Trading

Canada imports around $25 billion worth of food items each year, with 70% of that flowing across the border with the United States. The loss of such drivers will reduce the ability to transport goods.

The mandate was the first government action to limit cross-border movement since the outbreak began. During the 20-month shutdown, trucks were allowed to freely cross the border because it was thought that it was important to keep supply channels open.

Supply chain disruptions pushed headline inflation in Canada to an 18-year high in November. The Bank of Canada even said that interest rates might be lifted as early as April.

Price Inflation

It is expected that the food supply network, which the epidemic and a labour shortage have already weakened, would be unable to bear this added strain.

The worsening of the present truck driver shortage means that already growing product prices, for example, will continue to climb as transportation costs are pushed to rise.

A global container and truck driver shortage is already creating shipping delays of up to two weeks, and having fewer available truckers will surely complicate the situation.

There are already concerns that big companies will be forced to pay a premium for vaccinated drivers, causing transport rates to rise. As the supply of commodities decreases, the price of items will keep growing. The consumer ultimately pays for this.

Conclusion

Even before the mandate's implementation, it responded to immense pressure from opposition lawmakers, industry, and business, all of whom had argued that this would have major economic effects.

The trucking industry was viewed as necessary for the supply chain to function smoothly, but following through on the mandate will cause Canada and its residents problems.

Without question, vaccines are the most efficient method to lower COVID-19 risks, stop the virus from spreading, and save lives. However, the trucking business scenario could be difficult and affect Canadians' access to food.

As of now, unvaccinated truck drivers are banned from crossing Canada's border's but protests are taking place. We will report more on this as the situation unfolds.

Other articles in Covid-19