Statement by Canadian Trucking Alliance president on Ottawa protests

On January 22 the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) issued its position on the convoy protesting the mandate introduced by the Governments of Canada and the United States, stating that the only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated.

The ‘Freedom Convoy’ is driven by a group of truckers and their supporters opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and worked its way toward Toronto and then eventually Ottawa. Several cities and communities across the country held smaller drives or convoys in their areas to show support. A call to support truckers in Ottawa was made on Six Nations and only two people showed up for the ride.

“As an industry we must adapt and comply with this mandate and the vast majority have,” said the CTA. “While a number of Canadians are in Ottawa to voice their displeasure over this mandate, it also appears that a great number of these protestors have no connection to the trucking industry and have a separate agenda beyond a disagreement over cross border vaccine requirements. As these protests unfold over the weekend, we ask the Canadian public to be aware that many of the people you see and hear in media reports do not have a connection to the trucking industry.”

A report from the CTA said the vast majority of the Canadian trucking industry is vaccinated with the overall industry vaccination rate among truck drivers closely mirroring that of the general public. Accordingly, most of our nation’s hard-working truck drivers are continuing to move cross-border and domestic freight to ensure our economy continues to function.

“To those in the trucking industry that have chosen to participate in this protest regarding cross border mandates, we ask that you engage in a peaceful demonstration today then leave the City of Ottawa to avoid any issues to the welfare and safety of the citizens of Ottawa. Your behaviour today will not only reflect upon you and your family but the 300,000 plus fellow Canadians that, like you, take great pride in our industry. Please remember this important responsibility you bear today in delivering your message responsibly but also the impact your actions will have on the image of the majority of your colleagues from coast-to-coast who do not share your opinion but share your passion for the industry and country,” said the CTA.

The CTA said over the last 24 months it has and will continue to work with the Government of Canada to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain.

“This includes several health and safety measures like raising vaccine rates in our sector. CTA will continue this work to benefit our sector and, by extension, the Canadian economy. This work will begin again this Monday when the Government of Canada hosts the National Supply Chain Summit,” said the CTA.

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