Canadian province leaders want to suspend truck driver COVID vaccine obligations

Ottawa — Canada’s Prime Minister of Alberta called on the federal government on Thursday to suspend its COVID-19 vaccine obligations to cross-border truck drivers.

Ottawa’s mission to curb the spread of the coronavirus has cost Canadian truck companies about 10% of international drivers, six executives said this week. They said they were raising wages to seduce new operators during the worst labor shortages they experienced.

Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenny urged the government to extend the exemption that had been applied to truck drivers since the start of the pandemic at a press conference in Calgary.

Kenny made his request on the same day that the United States confirmed that its own vaccine border obligations for truck drivers would begin on Saturday. Canada has been in operation since January 15th.

“Common sense tells us that we are at the peak of supply chain constraints across North America and around the world, and in huge inflation,” Kenny said.

This isn’t the moment “potentially losing thousands of truck drivers on our roads, bringing groceries from the United States, and perhaps even knowing the (COVID) rapid test kit.”

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimates that 32,000, or 20%, of 160,000 truck drivers across the Canadian-American border could be off the road by delegation. According to the CTA, the industry was short of about 18,000 drivers even before the mandate.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has resisted industry pressure to postpone his mission since it was first announced in November. On Wednesday, Trudeau defended its mission, saying Canada was “cooperating” with its largest trading partner, the United States.

On Thursday, Canada’s Ministry of Transport said the measures did not adversely affect the supply of goods and there was no significant change in cross-border truck traffic.

Within the next two weeks, Dan Einwechter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Challenger Motor Freight Inc in Cambridge, Ontario, will think consumers “haven’t had too many choices on the shelves.”

“Ultimately, the sellers of these products will give you the price, in order to pass the price increase to the seller,” he said.

Inflation in Canada reached a 30-year high of 4.8% in December, and economists said the vaccine’s mission could help keep prices longer. Inflation in the United States surged 7% year-on-year in December, the largest increase in nearly 40 years.

More than two-thirds of the $ 650 billion ($ 521 billion) commodities traded annually between Canada and the United States are on the road.

Rob Penner, president and chief executive officer of Winnipeg at Bison Transport, based in Manitoba, raised the base rate for cross-border drivers by almost 20% from January 1st, but gained nothing. Said that.

“There is more cargo than the current person.”

According to truck managers, fresh food is particularly sensitive to freight issues as all imports from the United States can be affected, but they expire rapidly.

According to a survey by the Bank of Canada released on Monday, Canadian companies see a growing labor shortage and increased wage pressure. Investors are increasingly expecting central banks to raise interest rates next week for the first time since 2018.

Along Steve Scheller

Canadian press