- According to the Manitoba Trucking Association, long-haul drivers can make a living without getting vaccinated.
- As of January 22, only vaccinated drivers will be allowed into the United States, and Canada will require proof of vaccination at the border to avoid strict testing and quarantine.
Despite claims by a few protesters that not being vaxxed has cost them their jobs, the Manitoba Trucking Association tells long-haul drivers can make a living even if they are not vaxxed.
“I’ve seen ads for Canada-only drivers as recently as today,” said MTA executive director Aaron Dolyniuk, whose organization represents 60 to 75 percent of the province’s trucks on the road.
“I’d say there are a lot of fleets actively recruiting drivers for Canada-only driving, which is currently not subject to any vaccine mandate.”
The United States will only allow vaccinated drivers into the country as of January 22, and Canada will require proof of vaccination at the border to avoid strict testing and quarantine. According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, most truck drivers are vaccinated, and the rate is equal to that of the general public, which is 83 percent, according to Health Canada.
Terrain Transport of St. Anne, Man. sent four unvaccinated drivers to Ottawa to join the Freedom Convoy. The owner tells them they can stay as long as they want because current vaccination mandates make it impossible for them to earn a living.
Half of Terrain Transport’s 25 drivers are vaccinated, but they still make cross-border runs loaded with Manitoba potatoes and returning with American produce, according to owner Leonard Petkau.
The other half is idling away.
“They are unable to work… What does it matter if they are sitting at home or in Ottawa? They are unable to generate revenue. “In an interview with CBC News, Petkau said.
Petkau doesn’t mind if his drivers are vaccinated; he claims it is their choice. However, he believes that the vaccine mandate is robbing unvaccinated truckers of their livelihoods, which is “not proper.”
Petkau claims that there isn’t enough domestic shipping to keep all of his drivers busy, so he paid for the diesel and wear and tear on his rigs so that some of his drivers could participate in the Ottawa protest.
“That’s a minor point, and I’m willing to give it up,” Petkau said.
Dolyniuk is fast to point out that the protesters do not represent the majority of trucking companies’ viewpoints.
He stated, “I don’t believe the actions of a few speak for the rest of our industry.” “When I look at the protests, I notice that they are less about trucking and more about restrictions on freedom of choice and vaccination. Trucks, I believe, were the vehicle of choice.”
The MTA is urging all levels of govt to end the current blockades in Manitoba.
“These illegal activities are wreaking havoc on Manitoba’s economy,” Dolyniuk said.
He agrees that everyone has the right to protest under the charter peacefully.
“That being said,” Dolyniuk said, “I’m not sure these protests are peaceful.”
Premier Heather Stefanson said on Friday that the federal government bears the majority of the responsibility for dealing with protesters.
“Some of these protests are taking place at the border as a result of a decision made by our country’s prime minister. It’s not something that only happens in Manitoba. “At a press conference, Stefanson stated.
At a news conference on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned demonstrators that failure to do so would result in serious consequences, including criminal charges and large fines.
He stated that police and government officials are preparing to take action against the protesters causing the blockades.
Source: CTV News
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