Quebec truckers protest against COVID-19 vaccination requirements

Quebec truckers who disagree with mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 are planning to demonstrate on Jan. 28 by organizing truck convoys to Ottawa from numerous border crossings between Canada and the United States.

A Facebook page called "Freedom convoy 2022" states that next Friday, truckers will gather before dawn at the border crossings of Saint-Théophile in Chaudière-Appalaches, Stanstead in the Eastern Townships and Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle in the Montérégie before regrouping in the area of Highway 40 in Vaudreuil, west of Montreal, to drive to Ottawa.

Angry truckers are also expected to join the protest from other Canadian provinces that day.

The demonstration in Ottawa is expected to culminate by 12 p.m.

Starting last Saturday, COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all truckers entering Canada from the United States to avoid a two-week quarantine and a negative COVID-19 test before arrival.

The measure has been met with disapproval, with the Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Québec (CTAQ) estimating that the requirement represents between 12,000 and 16,000 fewer truckers on the road.

Sylvie Cloutier, president and CEO of CTAQ, states the food supply chain, already weakened by the pandemic and a labour shortage, will bear additional pressure from this measure, increasing already elevated food prices.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 20, 2022. 

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