Since the beginning of this Pandemic, Truck Drivers (like so many other people) have been designated Essential Workers. They have transported the goods and materials that kept society functioning and allowed so many people to work from home.
After nearly 2 years of truckers not having to be vaccinated in order to cross the Canada/USA border, both Canada and the United States have now decided that they must be vaccinated. Neither government seems to have produced data to show that licensed cross-border truck drivers have been causing a disproportionate increase in Covid related disease compared to, say, the 15-20 million people who marched in Black Lives Matter Protests or the fans who today attend sporting events in large stadiums.
Many truckers have had enough of Government imposed mandates, whether they be vaccinations, vaccine passports, masking, curfews, lockdowns, etc. That is what led to the Freedom Convoy.
Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau did not meet with the truckers when they arrived at their destination in the Nation’s capital. Why? He has reportedly said that the convoy members and their supporters hold “unacceptable views.”
Speaking of unacceptable, on the World Covid-10 Stringency Index, Canada’s score is 78.24 (out of 100) with only a few countries having higher levels of school and workplace closures, travel bans, cancellation of public events, gathering restrictions, stay at home requirements and restrictions on internal movement. Since I’ve lived in the midst of it all, I can understand why some people have had enough of what they think are ‘unacceptable’ levels of government imposed mandates and are now expressing those views.
“The Canadian food system really rides on the back of a truck because of our short growing season,” he said of the C$21bn worth of food imported from the US each year, and trucks play a key role in moving it.
In many way, Covid-19 has exposed the necessity of the trucking system as well as headwinds within the system, including a shortage of drivers.
“At the end of the day, we need more trucks on the road. If everyone came to the table for an honest discussion about this, rather than making political statements, it’d be better for everyone”.
– Simon Somogyi, University of Guelph, study of food business and supply chain management –