Ottawa Cancels Vaccine Mandate For Truck Drivers

The federal government in Ottawa has canceled its proposed vaccine mandate for Canadian truck drivers days before it was set to go into effect.

Ottawa announced in mid-November that truck drivers crossing into Canada would need to be fully vaccinated by January 15 of this year.

But the Canada Border Services Agency now says that Canadian truckers will not have to quarantine if they are unvaccinated or have received only one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The news came as a surprise to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, which said industry representatives met with federal officials earlier this month and were told the mandate was still on track for January 15.

Trade associations on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border had been pushing for a delay to the restriction, which they say would put additional strain on supply chains amid the latest COVID-19 surge and severe worker shortages.

The new rule will still take effect for American truckers, who will be turned away at the Canadian border unless they've been inoculated starting January 15.

About 10% of the 120,000 Canadian truck drivers who cross the border may not have been able to work those routes because they haven't been vaccinated, according to the trucking alliance.