A coalition of Canadian premiers and U.S. governors are calling on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden to discard a vaccine mandate for cross-border travel for truckers.
A group comprised of two premiers and 16 governors sent a letter to the top levels of the Canadian and U.S. governments on Wednesday requesting that vaccine and quarantine exemptions be restored for truckers crossing between the two countries. The letter cited the strain that the mandate is putting on already struggling supply chains. The letter said in part:
We are writing to request that you immediately reinstate the vaccine and quarantine exemptions available to cross border truck drivers. We understand the vital importance of vaccines in the fight against COVID-19 and continue to encourage eligible individuals to get vaccinated. However, we are deeply concerned that terminating these exemptions has had demonstrably negative impacts on the North American supply chain, the cost of living, and access to essential products for people in both of our countries.
The timing of your decision to terminate the vaccine and quarantine exemptions could not have been worse, as North America already faces grave supply chain constraints. These restraints, combined with increasing inflation, place significant burdens on the residents of Canada and the United States. Furthermore, transportation associations have informed us that the lack of exemptions will force thousands of drivers out of the trucking industry, which is already facing a significant workforce shortage. The removal of these exemptions is ultimately necessary, and we cannot afford to lose any more truck drivers who transport food and other vital supplies across the border.
Today, I've signed a letter along with @PremierScottMoe, @GovGianforte and 15 other American governors urging President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau to drop the cross-border vaccine mandate for truckers.
It's bad public health theatre and it needs to go.
Read below ⬇: pic.twitter.com/xGKUaE98dT
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) February 16, 2022
The letter was signed by Premiers Jason Kenney of Alberta and Scott Moe of Saskatchewan. On the south side of the border, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte led the group of 15 other governors: Kay Ivey of Alabama, Mike Dunleavy of Alaska, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Brad Little of Idaho, Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, Mike Parson of Missouri, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Doug Burgum of South Dakota, Henry McMaster of South Carolina, Kristi Noem of North Dakota, Bill Lee of Tennessee, Spencer Cox of Utah, and Mark Gordon of Wyoming.
The letter comes two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to ratchet up pressure on thousands of protesters that have demonstrated against the cross border vaccine mandate and other COVID-19 restrictions for weeks in downtown Ottawa as well as a number of border crossings along the U.S.-Canada border. As The Daily Wire reported:
The Emergencies Act powers will “strengthen” law enforcement’s ability to fine and imprison protesters, according to the prime minister. The act will be enforced most heavily in areas of “critical infrastructure” such as airports and border crossings. Trudeau said that the act also ensures “essential services” such as towing away trucks used to blockade roads and highways.
“In addition, financial institutions will be authorized and directed to render essential services to help address the situation including by regulating and prohibiting the use of property to fund or support illegal blockades,” Trudeau added.
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