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Truckers protesting the government’s vaccination mandate march to Ottawa

Truck drivers protesting against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates drive in a convoy on the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick provincial boundary in Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Canada, January 23, 2022. REUTERS/John Morris

On Sunday, a convoy of truckers began their march from Vancouver to Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, in protest of the government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers, which the industry claims would result in driver shortages and increased fuel prices.

The news: To protest the mandate, truckers under the guise of Freedom Convoy 2022 had raised C$2.7 million ($2.2 million) through a gofundme campaign by Sunday. According to the gofundme page, the monies generated would be utilised to help with the costs of petrol, food, and hotel. On Jan. 29, the convoy is slated to arrive in Ottawa.

Individuals stand alongside the Trans Canada Highway as an RCMP officer points down the road during the Canadian truck convoy/protest in Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Canada, January 23, 2022. REUTERS/John Morris
Truck drivers protesting against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates drive in a convoy on the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick provincial boundary in Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Canada, January 23, 2022. REUTERS/John Morris
  • Because more than two-thirds of the C$650 billion ($521 billion) in commodities exchanged yearly between Canada and the United States travels by truck, the trucking industry is critical to ensuring a seamless flow of goods.
  • However, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimates that up to 32,000, or 20 per cent, of the 160,000 Canadian and American cross-border truck drivers may be forced off the road as a result of the mandate.
  • The CTA, on the other hand, stated in a statement on Saturday that it does not condone any protests on public roads and that the only option for a commercial truck to cross the border is to be vaccinated.
  • From Jan. 15, Canada enforced a vaccine mandate for the trucking industry, requiring unvaccinated Canadian drivers returning from the United States to be tested for COVID-19 and quarantined.
  • Driver shortages are also anticipated to exacerbate the country’s already-high inflation, which is at a three-decade high, according to industry advocacy organisations.

Since the mandate was first announced in November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defied industry demand to postpone it.

($1 = 1.2572 Canadian dollars)

A truck passes by the Canadian truck convoy/protest along the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border in Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Canada, January 23, 2022. REUTERS/John Morris
People gather atop a bridge as truck drivers protesting against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates drive in a convoy on the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick provincial boundary in Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Canada, January 23, 2022. REUTERS/John Morris
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