Canada’s truckers protest Covid-19 vaccine mandate, warn of supply chain collapse
Canadian truck drivers have been protesting the new COVID-19 vaccine mandate that came into effect for cross-border crossings on January 15th. The new rule now requires unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers that return to Canada to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate for 14 days. Additionally, the new federal mandate will also not allow unvaccinated foreign national truck drivers to cross the border into Canada. January 22nd, the same mandate comes into force in the US. Experts warn that both of these mandates will inevitably lead to supply chain collapse and a further surge in prices, including prices for food, gas and essential goods.
On a cold winter Monday afternoon, about 300 trucks and other vehicles lined up slow-rolling at the Pembina-Emerson border crossing, south of Winnipeg. A professional truck driver and photographer, Rudi Dueck originally wanted to join the protest in his company truck, but his employer didn’t want to have anything to do with the protest. Then, Dueck joined the rally in his personal vehicle and live-streamed the protest from his car.
While live-streaming, he shared some of the concerns truckers have about the mandate.
“We’re sick and tired, we’ve had enough. That’s been going on for two years. Vaccines create more controversy. People get to hospitals, getting side effects. Lots of people have died of it. We’re sick and tired. We just had enough… In the beginning, we were considered essential workers. And then, all of a sudden, we’re not considered essential anymore. That got out of the window pretty fast. So we’re going to continue to protest.”
A convoy of truck drivers took to the streets on Highway 75 in Emerson, Manitoba, near the US-Canada border, slow-rolling and cruising in both Northbound and Southbound lanes.
Ted Falk, Provencher’s Member of Parliament, also joined the protest.
“On Monday, I was proud to stand in solidarity with truckers at the Canada/U.S. border, and call on Justin Trudeau to reverse this discriminatory and foolish mandate, and allow truckers to continue to provide their essential service to Canadians,” Falk said in the statement.
In one of his comments, Dueck also shared his concerns about the government overreach since the time the pandemic has started.
“If we’re not going to stop it, our government will never back down. It will just get worse, and worse, and worse. First, it started off with, “Oh, we’ll lock everything down for 2 weeks to flatten the curve. We’re two years into it now, and there is no sign to end of this. It seems like they just got a hold of power… If we’re not gonna stop it, the government is gonna treat us really bad. They will continue coming up with more stupid mandates.”
Dueck also warned of the upcoming supply chain collapse if the mandate for truckers continues.
“Without us truckers, you won’t have anything in your store. No milk, nothing. No meat. If you don’t want truckers hauling it to your grocery store, you’re not eating.”
This is a developing story and we’ll continue following the situation; please check back for updates.