The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) issued a statement on Thursday afternoon calling on all levels of government to end the blockade taking place in several parts of the country.
“To protect the health and welfare of the 300,000 truck drivers who are committed to moving Canada’s domestic and international trade – as well as the economic viability of all companies in the supply chain – CTA is calling on all levels of government across Canada to put an action plan in place to end current blockades and prevent future disruptions at our nation’s ports of entry and the critical road infrastructure leading to critical trade arteries,” the statement said.
“Individuals engaged in preventing vehicles from crossing into Canada and the United States are not “peaceful protestors” as that term should not be applied to activities preventing the flow of essential goods by those who have illegally seized control and impede access to public infrastructure,” the statement added.
The trucking group outlined the economic impacts of the blockade while clarifying that many of the protesters are not associated with the trucking industry.
“The vehicle blockades spreading across border points and highways throughout the country are costing shippers and retailers significant losses while also impairing the hard work of truck drivers who continue to keep our essential goods moving throughout the supply chain during this critical time,” the statement read. “Canadians should also keep in mind that many of these vehicles and individuals involved in the blockades are not operating heavy trucks or are associated with the trucking industry.”
According to the alliance representing some 4,500 carriers, owner-operators and suppliers, the majority of the trucking industry is fed up with the current situation.
Drivers who are simply trying to make a living and get home to their families have been stuck at blocked border crossings for four to eight hours, many of whom have gone without access to washrooms or food.
“The patience of drivers and the vast majority of the trucking industry regarding these blockades has long-since expired. The trucking industry and its drivers are paying a heavy price for the unlawful actions of those who choose to politicize and target our borders and highways and choke off trade between Canada and the United States. Their actions simply hurt Canadians and they have shown a blatant disregard for all the lives they are impacting,” says Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
“Many of those who are protesting having their lives disrupted by certain policies are, in turn, ironically disrupting the lives of their fellow Canadians,” says Laskowski. “Whether it’s the dedicated truck driver who’s stuck at the border and unable to get home to his or her family; or the factory worker who is sent home from work because critical products and raw materials aren’t being delivered, the only people who these blockades hurt are the hard-working Canadians who have kept our nation moving,” says Laskowski.
“This is simply not sustainable for the industry, its customers, and ultimately, the consumer.”