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Solidarity With Our Truckers

“What on earth are they thinking?!”
That’s what I continue to hear from constituents, regarding the decision by both the US and Canada to impose a vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers.
Nearly 100 US trucking associations, including the ATA and TCA, have written an open letter to President Biden, stating their concerns that this mandate will “cripple an already strained supply chain.”
The US already has a shortfall of some 80,000 truck drivers. Those inside the industry estimate a potential additional loss of up to 37% of its drivers if this mandate goes ahead.
Given our close proximity and the interconnected nature of our trade relationship, any loss of truckers on the US side will ultimately affect Canadians.
Likewise, I have heard from numerous Canadian trucking companies—many here in our riding of Provencher—expressing identical concerns.
If no compromise can be reached, Canada stands to lose up to 20% of our trucking industry—or roughly 15,000 truckers.
At a time where global and domestic supply chains are already stretched to a critical level, any loss of truckers (on either side of the border) would be catastrophic.
For a brief moment last week, it appeared that common sense and sanity had finally won the day, when the Liberal Government reversed its decision to implement the mandate, only to, inexplicably, reverse it back again less than 24 hours later.
Industry insiders on both sides of the border are predicting dire consequences and chaos at the border, not mention the chaos in the grocery store aisles and at the gas pump. This mandate will also force numerous local operators out of business.
Of course, we all want to keep Canadians safe, but this is overkill and overreach in the extreme.
Truck drivers have done a remarkable job of safely travelling back and forth the past two years. They have kept our country going. Who do the Prime Minister and President think have kept us supplied with vaccines, tests, PPE etc.? Who do they think kept the groceries on our shelves and brought our products to market? It’s not some woke bureaucrat or Liberal party insider, it’s truckers!
Truckers are heroes, not villains and they deserve the gratitude of all Canadians. Instead, they are the latest victims of Justin Trudeau’s vaccine witch hunts.
I have been clear from the beginning: Any Canadian who wants to get vaccinated against COVID-19 should have access and anyone who chooses not to should not be discriminated against. Nobody should be coerced, and nobody should lose their job. Period.
This isn’t about vaccines. It’s about government overreach and the lack of common sense and immoral leadership from our current government.
Our economy cannot handle any further hit to our supply chains. We need our truckers on the road, providing their essential service to Canadians.
On behalf of the numerous trucking companies in my riding, and across the country—and the businesses and individuals who rely on them—I will continue to stand in solidarity with, and lobby on behalf of the trucking industry so they can continue to provide their essential service to Canadians.