It was reported Thursday afternoon that a federal government official misspoke.
Christopher Reynolds of the Canadian Press reported that Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, transport, and public safety ministers said in a release that the CBSA statement from Wednesday was "provided in error." Canadian trucks will have to be vaccinated to avoid quarantine and a pre-arrival molecular test, beginning this weekend.
The previous mandate that would have seen all truckers crossing the Canadian border be vaccinated has now been partially reversed.
Instead of all drivers needing the vaccine, Canadian drivers will instead be able to cross without whereas the mandate will go into effect for American drivers this Saturday.
The change comes as some voices in the trucking industry called for the mandate to be stopped, citing the impact it could have on the supply chain.
One of those voices is Darryl Shirley, the Maintenance Manager for Bert Baxter Transport Limited, who had some choice words for the policy.
"Truth to tell, our reaction to that was we thought it was the stupidest thing in the world," said Shirley, "The vaccination mandate, the PCR test being needed at the border, is counterproductive and also in our opinion, it's very late. There's no stopping this, all this testing we're doing is a big waste of money.
"Them bringing in the vaccine mandates for the truckers, that would have actually slowed the flow of goods across the border immensely. They're still going to do it because the American truckers aren't allowed without the vaccine."
Shirley says we'll likely see the effect of the policy reflected in the cost of goods and services.
"I don't know how many trucks that's going to take out of circulation across that border, but it's going to be huge. If you think goods and services are affected now," said Shirley, "Wait for the next couple of weeks and you'll see that really go downhill."
On the upside, there may be an opportunity for Canadian drivers since American truckers will be unable to fulfill any cross-border contracts.
"It does provide some more opportunities. I'm sure a lot of Americans won't be coming north and the Canadian truckers will be able to pick up more loads and come up north," said Shirley, "But we don't have enough trucks up here to facilitate all the goods that need to come up here. there are not enough truckers in the world right now anyways."
That opportunity may be short-lived, as the United States government is issuing a similar mandate, with unvaccinated Canadian truckers needing to quarantine once they cross the border that is set to take effect on the 22nd.
At the very least, Shirley reports that the business seems to be approaching pre-pandemic levels, after what has been a tumultuous pair of years for the industry.