It has been a day filled with confusion for many Canadian truck drivers after reports last night indicated that the federal government changed it's mind on the vaccination mandate which is set to come into effect on Saturday, January 15, 2022.
The federal government has issued a statement in response to the inaccurate information that reached the internet and airwaves last night.
It reads, "As announced in November and as we've communicated with the industry recently, starting January 15, unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers entering Canada will need to meet requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day 8 testing, as well as quarantine requirements." That entire statement can be found at the bottom of this story.
With the upcoming mandate, we're told to expect disruption to the supply chain.
The Manitoba Trucking Association expects approximately 15 per cent of truck drivers in the province are not vaccinated, with some regions experiencing even fewer vaccinated truckers.
Acting Executive Director Aaron Dolyniuk says the industry is already severely short on drivers and any reduction in drivers will impact the supply chain.
Nearly all products spend some time on trucks during their journey to stores, says Dolyniuk, and that means there will be some delays before they reach their destination.
He points out that the pandemic has brought attention to the valuable roles truck drivers fill in getting necessary items to people, such as food, clothing, furniture and supplies for daily living.
“I think it’s made people appreciate the trucking industry a bit more, recognizes truckers as the heroes of the highway,” Dolyniuk says.
He notes that there is a need to make some improvements to working conditions for truckers, such as providing accessible rest stops, washroom access and other tools that they need in order to do their job.
“We need to treat truck drivers as the essential front line workers that they are,” says Dolyniuk.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) reports that it met yesterday with Canadian government officials to discuss enforcement of the border vaccination mandate.
In a news release, the alliance states that officials are advising the electronic submission of vaccination proof be presented through ArriveCAN.
It also reports that right now, carriers that dispatch unvaccinated drivers prior to January 15 that do not arrive back in Canada prior to the mandate coming into effect, could be subject to potential quarantine and/or other public health measures upon re-entry.
The release goes on to say, “CTA remains engaged with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and contacts south of the border regarding enforcement of the US vaccination mandate reportedly coming into effect on January 22. Although no details are currently available, the Alliance will distribute this information as soon as possible.”
Requirements for truckers entering Canada in effect as of January 15, 2022
From: Public Health Agency of Canada
January 13, 2022 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada
Today, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, issued the following statement:
"On November 19, 2021, we announced that as of January 15, 2022, certain categories of travellers who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada.
These groups include several essential service providers, including truck drivers. Let us be clear: This has not changed. The information shared yesterday was provided in error. Our teams have been in touch with industry representatives to ensure they have the correct information.
A Canadian truck driver who is not fully vaccinated can't be denied entry into Canada—Canadian citizens, persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act and permanent residents may enter Canada by right.
As announced in November and as we've communicated with the industry recently, starting January 15, unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers entering Canada will need to meet requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day 8 testing, as well as quarantine requirements.
The final decision regarding entry and quarantine is made by a government representative at the port of entry, based on the information presented to them at the time.
Any individual who is symptomatic upon arrival to Canada will be directed to a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) official and will be directed to isolate for 10 days from the time symptoms first occurred.
As of January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign national truck drivers, coming to Canada from the US by land, will be directed back to the United States.
To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller and to enter Canada, foreign national truck drivers must:
- have received at least two doses of a vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of two accepted vaccines
- or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine
- have received their second dose at least 14 full days before they enter Canada. For example: if a driver received their second dose anytime on Saturday, January 1, then Sunday, January 16 would be the first day that they would meet the 14-day condition.
- Have submitted all required COVID-19 information into ArriveCAN.
The Government of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians. As vaccination levels, case counts and hospitalization rates evolve, the Government of Canada will continue to consider further targeted measures at the borders—and when to lift or adjust them—to keep Canadians safe."
Written by Judy Peters