An estimated 30,000 truckers that deliver goods and services between the U.S./Canada border have not yet presented their vaccination paperwork. Starting January 15, truckers will be demanded to present proof of vaccination upon entering Canada. The same mandate for truckers entering the United States from Canada goes into effect on January 22.
When the Coronavirus pandemic started almost two years ago, the Trump Administration made land/border crossings essential. The Biden Administration's mandate issued by the Department of Homeland Security trumps the former President's.
Mike Milliam, the President of Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, told Lynnwood Times that the mandate will add to the shortages we are already undergoing and will generate significant long-lasting damage.
"70 percent of the 700 billion in trade between Canada and the U.S. is moved by truck," Milliam announced. "This will have a dramatic effect on supplies and services reaching their destination and getting in the hands of those who need them. One needs to look no further than the recent U.K. fuel shortage, where the military had to be brought in to deliver fuel as a result of a lack of truck drivers. We are already seeing shortages, if these shortages reach critical levels on items such as fuel, food, blood medicine or medical supplies, we will see real, long-lasting damage."
According to data reported by Lynnwood Times, roughly 120,000 Canadian truck drivers enter the U.S. daily while 40,000 US truckers enter Canada. The majority of the cargo being transported contains essential items such as medical supplies, blood, food, and fuel.
"We understand the governments are putting these mandates in place in order to protect our health," Milliam explained. "If we start seeing shortages of medical supplies in our hospitals because we've mandated drivers to get vaccinated, how much is that going to affect people's health? The idea may be good in one direction but I don't think we've really looked at its effects on health and safety on the other side."
Milliam cautioned that the mandate has the potential to eliminate 25 percent of the workforce.
"We've already had a shortage of driver positions before we brought in any vaccine mandates and on top of that, we've got supply chain issues to begin with. We can usually go to the grocery store now and see at least one item that's not on the shelf but once we wipe out 25 percent of the workforce, I think it's going to become a very common case," Milliam told the Lynnwood Times.