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Vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers will impact staff shortage: Trucking association

'It's really the issue of not having the luxury to hire someone that's double vaccinated,' said Jean-Marc Picard
010721- truck - tractor trailer - 18 wheeler

The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association says Ottawa's vaccine mandate for truckers will have an impact on the industry.

On Jan. 15, the federal government will require all truckers provide proof that they are fully vaccinated to cross the border into Canada.

Jean-Marc Picard, the executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, told CityNews Halifax the underlying issue is the driver shortage.

"At the end of the day it's not really the mandate, it's really the issue of not having the luxury to hire someone that's double vaccinated," he said.

Picard said roughly 85 percent of drivers in Atlantic Canada are fully vaccinated, while there are roughly 90 percent with at least partial vaccination.

Despite the high numbers, Picard said any loss of drivers is going to have an impact on the supply chain.

"Even if we lose only five percent of our drivers going to the U.S., it will have a significant impact to the supply chain to companies," said Picard. "More trucks will be parked, cost of goods will go up and freight rates. It's really going to be a difficult situation."

Picard believes it would be wise to mandate all workers who are part of the supply chain as it would help prevent drivers from moving to other parts of the industry.

"If we lose a driver to another industry, someone is gaining an employee that's not mandated to get vaccinated and we're losing one, we can't lose one," he said.

Picard said the association has recommended putting up vaccine clinics at the borders to increase accessibility.



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Chris Halef

About the Author: Chris Halef

Chris is a reporter for HalifaxToday.ca and NEWS 95.7. In 2018, he won the RTDNA Dave Rogers Award for best short feature.
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