Statement by OTA President Stephen Laskowski on GTA Protests

The vast majority of the Ontario trucking industry is vaccinated and the overall vaccination rate among commercial drivers closely mirrors that of the general public.

Some of the people protesting at Queen’s Park are voicing their concern over the bilateral mandate introduced by the Governments of Canada and the United States that requires all essential workers, including truck drivers, to be vaccinated. As of January 22, the only way to cross the border, in a commercial truck or any other vehicle, is to get vaccinated. As an industry we must adapt and comply with this mandate and the vast majority have.

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) does not support and strongly disapproves of any protests on public roadways, highways, and bridges. OTA believes such actions – especially those that interfere with public safety and impede the flow of traffic or citizens – are not how disagreements with government policies should be expressed. We strongly urge all protestors to please respect traffic laws and comply with direction from authorities to not block access to the hospitals and critical care facilities around the legislature.

While some Canadians are at Queen’s Park today to voice their displeasure over this mandate, it appears that most protestors have no connection to the trucking industry and have separate grievances beyond the cross-border vaccine requirements. As these protests unfold, OTA asks the public to be aware that many of the people you see and hear in media reports do not have a connection to the trucking industry and do not represent the view of the Ontario Trucking Association or its members.

To those in the trucking industry that have chosen to participate in this protest, your behaviour today will not only reflect upon you and your family but the 300,000-plus fellow Canadians that, like you, take great pride in our industry. Please remember this important responsibility you bear today in delivering your message responsibly as well as the impact your actions will have on the image of many of your colleagues who do not share your opinion but share your passion for the industry and country.

Please protest peacefully and respectfully and then return home safely on Saturday in the same peaceful, respectful manner as we ask that you demonstrate at the Legislature.

 

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