Darcy Johnson and Francis Trudell of 401 Truck Source wasted no time letting Rick Nicholls know they were very happy to hear the news that Canada will not eliminate its vaccine exemption for Truck drivers. “Now everyone is watching to see what the US will do,” Nicholls told RWN. “We sure hope Doug Ford and his new ‘Council on US Trade’ are on the phone, persuading them to align their policies with Canada’s.” Photo: supplied
“This is the right decision, and it speaks well of those who made it,” Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington says of Canada’s decision to maintain the essential workers exemption for Truck drivers crossing the border. According to numerous sources, it appears the federal government is backing down on a vaccine mandate for Canadian Truck drivers.
Trucking firms in his riding have already told Nicholls that they are very pleased with Canada’s decision and hope that the U.S. will follow suit, he says.
On January 13th, Nicholls placed a call to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and emailed him a letter, urging him to request American trade partners suspend any new Border policy.
“Premier, I understand that an American deadline is also looming,” Nicholls’ letter said. “I know that Ontario has worked to maintain important relationships with counterparts in the U.S. government. I urge you to be in touch with them now, and request that the Americans also support a suspension of any new vaccine mandates for Truckers crossing the border.
“Given the seriousness of the supply chain crisis that has impacted North America in these past months, I am sure you will agree, now is not the time for new measures to restrict trade at the border. Now is not the time to rip up decades of alignment and cooperation, or to put workers and families on both sides of the border at risk. Please make sure that Ontario’s case is heard loudly and clearly in Washington, and urge our American partners to suspend elimination of the essential workers exemption for Truck drivers.”
The US Department of Homeland Security has not updated its statement on this issue since November.
On December 9, 2021, the Ontario government announced the creation of the “Premier’s Council on U.S. Trade and Industry Competitiveness.” The Council, chaired by Unifor National President Jerry Dias, is intended to provide advice and recommendations on the government’s ongoing efforts to rally business leaders, elected officials and labour leaders to protect Ontario’s rights under trade agreements and the workers who depend on a secure, prosperous and integrated North American economy.