A convoy of truck drivers travels across Canada to protest new federal vaccine requirements for cross-border essential workers. The convoy driving from Newfoundland, Windsor, Ontario, Vancouver, and other places arrived in Ottawa on January 29, where drivers protested in front of Parliament Hill and surrounding areas.
The truck drivers are protesting that the federal government drop the vaccine mandate, which was first announced in November and came into effect on January 15. This mandate requires most essential workers, including Canadian truck drivers, to be vaccinated so they can avoid 14 days quarantine when returning from the United States. This requirement will likely worsen the shortage of available truck drivers, increase food prices, and slow deliveries.
The trucker convoy has gained a lot of support across the country. Pro-convoy supporters lined across Canada to support truck drivers on their way to Ottawa. In addition, a GoFundMe has raised over $6.6-million as of January 27 from more than 85,000 donors. This fund will go towards payment fuel, shelter, and food for the truck drivers.
To be clear the truck drivers are against the federal vaccine mandate, not against vaccinations. The truck drivers are protesting to restore their rights and freedom and give everyone a choice as to whether or not to be vaccinated.
Of note, 85% of truck drivers are already vaccinated who cross over the USA/Canada border.The federal government has stated that it will not withdraw the mandate. However, as Professor Hilary Young, has said “Vaccine mandates would likely face legal hurdles in Canada.” It is important to note, however, in the private employment realm, the courts have already decided thus far that vaccine mandates are legal and allowable.