Securing the supply chain or breaking it? Clash over trucker vaccine mandate grows

The problem facing supply chains isn't an epidemic of vaccine hesitancy among truck drivers but merely an exacerbation of chronic driver shortages, an industry insider says

As fears grow that Canadians can expect a jump in food prices as well as empty shelves at the grocery stores, the Liberals are claiming that a contentious mandate requiring truck drivers to be fully vaccinated is the best way to protect supply chains.

“One of the biggest threats to our supply chain is indeed the pandemic and the best tool to end the fight against this virus is vaccination,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in an email to National Post.

But industry insiders and analysts warn that it will be Canadians who suffer under the new rules.

“Ultimately, it’s the consumer that pays for this,” said George Pitsikoulis, president and chief executive officer of Montreal-based distributor Canadawide Fruits.

As of Saturday, trucks crossing into Canada must be driven by a fully vaccinated driver and assuming the Joe Biden administration doesn’t have a change of heart, a comparable mandate for U.S.-bound truckers is set to go into effect this weekend...

This was excerpted from the 19 January 2022 edition of the National Post.