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Vaccination mandate for truckers: the federal government makes a last-minute turnaround

MONTREAL – The federal government is withdrawing from its vaccine mandate for Canadian truckers three days before it goes into effect.

Ottawa announced in mid-November that truck drivers entering Canada should be fully vaccinated by this Saturday. But on Wednesday evening, Department of Transportation spokeswoman Rebecca Purdy told The Canadian Press that Canadian heavy riggers won’t have to self-quarantine if they aren’t vaccinated or haven’t. received only one dose.

The news surprised Canadian Trucking Alliance President Stephen Laskowski, who said industry officials met with government officials as late as noon and were told the mandate was still in progress for January 15th.

Business associations on both sides of the border had been pushing for a postponement of the restriction, which they said would put additional strain on supply chains amid the latest wave of COVID-19 and severe worker shortages .

The new rule will still take effect for American truckers, who will be turned back at the border unless they have been vaccinated from this weekend.

According to the Trucking Alliance, about 10 percent of the 120,000 Canadian truckers crossing the border may not have been able to work on these routes because they were not hit.

The Minister of Transport’s office declined to say whether the exemption for truckers is temporary or indefinite.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 12, 2022.