VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The trucking industry says it won’t be impacted by new land-border testing requirements, which are set to take effect on Monday.
BC Trucking Association chief Dave Earle says his organization, as well as the national associations on both sides of the border, have been working with Ottawa for the past couple of weeks on ensuring that truck drivers crossing the border won’t be subject to the new rules.
“Drivers, they’re treating their cabs as isolation units. They’re packing food, they’re maintaining, basically, their residence in their cab as they travel, if you can imagine, for days at a time,” he told NEWS 1130.
“They just don’t leave the cab,” Earle stressed of drivers, adding if they do, it’s only for a brief moment.
“They’re being very, very cautious and when you look at the overall transmission in our industry, it’s a real success story,” added Earle. “With all the millions of crossings that we’ve had in the past year, we’ve seen very, very few cases in our industry and that’s a real indication of success.”
As far as he is aware, Earle says the essential services exemptions for people crossing the Canada-U.S. land border will continue to apply.
He notes industry and governments continue to work closely to ensure they maintain the supply chain.
Earle tells NEWS 1130 the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for drivers, who are often headed into the U.S. where case numbers remain high.
B.C. truckers who cross the border are not being given priority for COVID-19 vaccinations. Earle says his members are okay with adhering to the age-based system the province uses to determine who is at the front of the line for a jab.
“It’s one that we are fully in line with,” Earle said, once again touting a low transmission rate among truck drivers. “What we have said is if we get into a situation where people are being held up — either at borders or more likely, if you will, at private facilities, where somebody’s warehouse or job site says no you can’t come in unless you have proof of a vaccine — that’s what we need to be mindful of. We need to make sure that our drivers are going to be able to show proof of vaccine.”