The Government of Ontario has once again come through for the trucking sector to improve conditions for drivers and the overall industry during the pandemic.
Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney and Premier Doug Ford are working with the State of Michigan on a COVID-19 prevention strategy that would see vaccinations made available for Ontario truck drivers in Michigan.
“The province of Ontario time and time again has stepped up to support our industry, and its truck drivers specifically, during this pandemic – whether it’s by urging the supply chain to improve treatment of drivers, expand access to washrooms, food and medical attention; and now, to increase vaccination availability of truck drivers by working with our counterparts south of the border,” said OTA Chair Wendell Erb.
OTA recently began discussions with Minister Mulroney after the State of North Dakota and the Province of Manitoba announced a similar truck driver vaccination program.
“OTA would once again like to thank Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney for their leadership and unwavering commitment to our sector and, specifically, our professional driving community,” said Erb.
Michigan and Ontario will continue to discuss this option to see if an agreement can be reached. Ontario has already prioritized the trucking industry in the vaccine rollout and the Michigan option would be a welcome addition to the existing provincial strategy as it would assist long-haul drivers whose schedule could pose challenges in getting vaccinated through the typical Monday to Friday work week, says, OTA, which has also raised this issue with various municipal regional officials and have encouraged them to consider special events and priority ‘trucker days’ to accommodate the work lives of long-haul truck drivers.