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Canadian manufacturing’s supply chain troubles could get worse if Ottawa pushes ahead with plans to mandate the Covid-19 vaccine for domestic federally regulated workers in the trucking industry, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is warning.

CTA believes many truck drivers could decide to quit their jobs rather than get vaccinated, already exacerbating the existing driver shortage estimated at about 18,000.

Canada and US had already announced plans last month to mandate vaccines for truck drivers crossing the border.

“The current challenges faced by the supply chain, which include an acute and growing truck driver shortage, will worsen significantly if the Government of Canada moves ahead to mandate a vaccine policy for the trucking industry in 2022,” the CTA warned.

Truck drivers had previously been exempted from the current vaccine mandate on federally regulated sectors.

Combined with the cross-border vaccine mandate announced last month, CTA estimates that, by the time the domestic vaccine mandate also takes effect, between 15,000 and 30,000 Canadian truck drivers would immediately exit the supply chain.

Consequently, all sectors of the economy, which are currently experiencing some form of supply chain disruption, would find even less transportation service providers. Some smaller businesses in certain parts of the country where capacity is already scarce might not be able to access any drivers at all to carry and deliver their freight, adds CTA.

 

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