The OOIDA, an international trade association with a membership of more than 150,000 throughout Canada and the U.S., on Monday sent U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a written request
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is calling on leaders on both sides of the border to exempt professional truck drivers from cross-border COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
“We are requesting that professional truck drivers be exempted from the vaccination requirements that the administration implemented on Jan. 22, 2022, for non-U.S. essential workers seeking to enter the U.S. via land ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders,” said the call to action, which is signed by Todd Spencer, the association’s president, and CEO.
“Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, professional truckers have been risking their lives to deliver critical goods to communities throughout North America. Prior to January 2022, truckers were operating safely back and forth across the U.S.-Canadian border to ensure North Americans had the food and supplies they needed without having to show proof of vaccination or disclosing any other aspects of their personal medical history,” the statement added.
The association called the vaccine mandate “arbitrary” and one that should not “prevent hard-working men and women from earning a living.”
Additionally, the association said, the federal requirements have impeded trade and commerce, and “many drivers” have elected against operating on a cross-border basis because of the new rules.
The association said it supports efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 but “cannot endorse short-sighted policies that disrupt commerce, put truckers out of work, and create shortages for essential supplies.”
Protests in Ottawa and other cities across Canada have been staged for more than a week as truckers and others have voiced their opinions against the government’s COVID-19 mandates.