Ministers and Canadian Trucking Alliance respond in unison
Three federal ministers and the president of Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) released a joint statement Tuesday, reacting in a single voice to gathering focus on a country-wide protest rolling toward Ottawa.
Ministers Omar Alghabra, Seamus O’Regan, and Carla Qualtrough combined their positions as heads of the Ministries of Transport, of Labour, and of Employment, Workforce Development, and Disability Inclusion, respectively, with that of CTA president Stephen Laskowski.
Together, they endeavoured to signal a unified respect and understanding for the realities of the transport industry during the pandemic. They stressed the unique position of truckers at the centre of acute economic and social challenges of this moment, such as inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, and labour shortages.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on all Canadians. Within the trucking industry, the pandemic has led to unprecedented challenges. Despite these circumstances, truckers have delivered for Canadians,” they said, jointly.
“As the pandemic continues, it remains critical that essential goods reach Canadians as quickly as possible,” the statement continued. “To reach this goal, and to bolster Canada’s economic recovery and long-term competitiveness, it’s important to tackle two major challenges facing industry – supply chain constraints and labour shortages.”
Initially, government responses focused on the high rate of vaccination among truckers and marginal effects on inflation. This shift in tone seemed to signal a recognition that public perception of the convoy protests was not rooted in the recent cancellation of exemptions from cross-border travel restrictions for unvaccinated truckers.
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