Canadian provincial leader wants to pause truckers’ COVID vaccine mandate
The premier of Canada’s Alberta province on Thursday called on the federal government to pause a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers that companies say will disrupt the supply chain and fuel inflation.
The mandate, imposed by Ottawa to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, has cost Canadian trucking companies about 10% of their international drivers, six top executives said this week. They said they are hiking wages to lure new operators during the worst labor shortage they have experienced.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, at a news conference in Calgary, urged the government to extend an exemption that had been in place for truckers since the start of the pandemic.
Kenney made his request on the same day the United States confirmed its own vaccine border mandate for truckers would start on Saturday. Canada’s has been in place since Jan. 15.
« Common sense tells us that we are at the peak of supply chain constraints across North America, around the world, huge inflation, » Kenney said.
As many as 32,000, or 20%, of the 160,000 Canadian and American cross-border truck drivers may be taken off the roads by the mandate, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimates. The industry was short some 18,000 drivers even before the mandate, CTA said.
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