Truck Driver Protest Convoy in Ottawa January 29 – 30
The Canadian and U.S. regulations requiring cross-border truck drivers to be fully vaccinated, has been in effect for crossing into Canada since January 15 and for crossing into the U.S. since January 22.
A number of associations including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC), the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), the Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC) and FMA all wrote to the government requesting a delay in the implementation date to avoid possible further disruptions to already strained supply chains.
The Canadian and U.S. governments have so far indicated that the mandates now in place will remain.
As widely reported, some truck drivers, not represented by CTA or PMTC, decided on a national trucker convoy to Ottawa to protest the mandatory cross-border vaccination requirement. The CTA and PMTC stated publicly that they do not support this action by drivers and stated that the Canadian and U.S. decisions are in place and they and their member companies will work within the law.
While the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) is well-prepared to manage the driver protest and have indicated that, to date, it has been mainly peaceful, there have been some disturbing incidents including defacing of the Terry Fox statue and desecration of the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
In addition some of the protestors caused problems at the Shepherds of Good Hope homeless shelter and food kitchen. There has been wide-spread outrage over these actions leading to a positive response of more donations to the Shepherds of Good Hope.
FMA joins CTA and PMTC in condemning these acts. As was pointed out in a tweet by the Chief of the Defence staff, the War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are a memorial to those who fought and died so that Canada remains a place where peaceful protests can take place.
While FMA has not seen any statistics, media reports and comments from FMA members with cross-border supply chains indicate that cross-border movements have not seen much delay to date.
Comments made to FMA are that COVID-19 related labour shortages with truck drivers, along with labour shortages at Distribution Centres and at loading and unloading sites are all contributing to service issues and delays.
Several news releases from the CTA related to the Ottawa protests and one from the Ottawa Citizen can be found at the red bars below.
FMA is continuing it’s collaboration with other stakeholders on this issue and will keep the FMA membership informed as new information becomes available.