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Vaccine mandate now in effect for cross-border truckers re-entering Canada


A vaccine mandate is now in effect for cross-border truckers coming into Canada. Canadian truckers who are not fully vaccinated will have to show proof of a negative PCR test collected within 72 hours of arriving at the border and will need to quarantine after arrival, while unvaccinated American drivers will be denied entry.

Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada CEO Shelley Walker said her organization would have liked to see a time extension before implementation.

“I know there’s probably a lot of people out there that said COVID’s been going on a long time, our industry knew about this since November,” she said. “But there was always the hope that it would go away.”

Walker said she’s heard from some drivers who returned from the U.S. before the policy took effect at midnight.

“A few of them put in a 16-hour driving day, but they were not getting stranded down in the U.S.,” she said. “There is a shortage of PCR tests, and where do you go in a vehicle that’s 70 to 75 feet long?”

While Canadian drivers will not be denied entry, those who do not follow the policy could face enforcement action or fines. Walker said truckers are planning a convoy to Ottawa in protest.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance has said between 10 to 15 per cent of cross border drivers could be lost, during an already ongoing labour shortage for the industry.

UBC Sauder School of Business professor Mahesh Nagarajan said there will likely be shipping delays as a result of the new mandate, but it’s hard to predict the extent.

“You are now looking at an already scarce pool of drivers. Now that pool has gotten a bit shorter. So what you would have to do is you have to re-optimize your trucking, where you would take the vaccinated drivers and hopefully get them across the border,” he said. “It’s a business trade-off, because the disruption that a Covid outbreak can cause in a company is much higher than the fact that some of them will not be vaccinated.”

A vaccine mandate is also expected on the U.S. side in the coming days. Top Stories

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