Quebec truckers council say mandatory vaccination will have repercussions on supply chain, food prices
Mandatory vaccinations for truckers entering Canada from the United States go into effect this morning.
As of midnight, workers must be fully vaccinated if they want to avoid a two-week quarantine and a COVID-19 test before their arrival.
Earlier this week, the Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Québec (CTAQ) said the new requirement will have repercussions in the province since refusal of entry into the country will represent "between 12,000 and 16,000 fewer truckers on the road, when the industry is already facing a serious shortage of truckers."
In a statement, CTAQ said that "the food supply chain, already weakened by the pandemic and a labour shortage, cannot withstand this additional pressure."
"The spike in food prices will only be amplified upwards," said CTAQ president and CEO Sylvie Cloutier.
Unvaccinated U.S. truck drivers will also be turned away at the border starting Jan. 15, as the U.S. prepares to impose similar restrictions on Canadian truckers on Jan. 22.
About 26,000 of the 160,000 drivers who regularly make cross-border trips will be sidelined because of the vaccination requirement, the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the American Trucking Association said, which also believes it will lead to higher prices for goods such as food or medical devices.
There was some confusion this week about mandatory vaccinations for truckers entering Canada to avoid quarantine when the Canada Border Services Agency announced on Wednesday that it was postponing the measure.
Ottawa reversed course the next day, saying the rule would go into effect this Saturday, as announced last November.
-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 15, 2021.