A group of Canadian premiers and U.S. governors has urged U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to abandon a vaccine mandate for truckers traveling across borders. On Wednesday, a coalition of 16 governors and two premiers sent a letter to Canadian and U.S. governments requesting that truckers crossing between the two countries be granted vaccine and quarantine exemptions. The mandate, according to the letter, is putting additional strain on already stressed supply chains.
The first request was to reinstate the quarantine and vaccine exemptions to cross-border truckers ASAP. Although the coalition did express their understanding regarding the life-saving measures meant to fight against COVID-19, the group focused on the negative consequences of the mandate for the North American supply chain, access to essential products, and the cost of living, as reported.
Later on, the letter explained that the mandate that had put an end to vaccine exemptions could not have come at a worse time, as North America was already facing severe supply chain constraints. These constraints, combined with rising inflation, imposed significant burdens on Canadian and American citizens. Furthermore, the lack of exemptions would then pressure thousands of drivers out of the industry, which was already suffering from a significant labor shortage. In the coalition’s opinion, losing more truck drivers was out of the question.
The letter came only two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the Emergencies Act to increase pressure on protesters who have been demonstrating for weeks in downtown Ottawa against the cross-border vaccine requirement. The protests are taking place at several border crossings along the US-Canada border.