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  • OTRI.USA
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  • OTVI.USA
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  • TLT.USA
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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CanadaInternationalNewsTrucking

Breaking: Canada locks down borders — but not for freight — as crisis worsens

The Canadian government leaves crucial openings for the movement of goods and U.S. citizens as it introduces an extraordinary travel ban because of coronavirus.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Monday “aggressive” steps to lock down the country’s borders to curb the spread of coronavirus but left crucial openings that will allow freight to move from the United States.

“We will continue to ensure that Canada receives important goods,” Trudeau said during a news conference outside his home in Ottawa. Trudeau is in self-imposed isolation with his wife, Sophie Grégoire, who is recovering from COVID-19.

The most significant step is banning the entry of most people who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Exemptions include U.S. citizens as well as travel for business and trade purposes — which means American truck drivers can continue to bring freight into Canada.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau also made clear that Canadian truck drivers who make regular cross-border deliveries are not expected to restrict their travel or self-isolate if they show no coronavirus symptoms. Canadians returning from another country currently are being told to self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

Canadian Trucking Alliance President Steve Laskowski welcomed the provisions to ensure that trucks will continue to move between Canada and the United States.

“We applaud Minister Garneau and the government for recognizing that even in these extraordinary times, the border with the U.S. and Canada needs to stay open for commerce,” Laskowski told FreightWaves.

Laskowski stressed that truck drivers showing symptoms for the coronavirus or having tested positive for COVID-19 need to be isolated. But he said a 14-day isolation period for drivers merely for crossing the border “would have been a disaster.”

Officials also announced the arrival of international flights will be limited to the country’s four largest airports: Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary. The four airports handle the highest number of passengers and volumes of freight in Canada.

Canada had 324 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four deaths as of Monday.

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Nate Tabak, Border and North America Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist who covers Canada for FreightWaves. He spent seven years as an investigative reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.

5 Comments

  1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    ..

    The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada
    Quote:
    “Transport Minister Marc Garneau says certain kinds of workers who need to cross the Canada-U.S. border will be exempted from requirements to self-isolate. He says that includes airline, train and marine crews, truck drivers and other people whose profession requires cross-border travel. Americans are also being exempted from a ban on international travel to Canada being put in place by the federal government. Garneau says those measures will take effect on Wednesday. ”
    End quote.

    Now how can we take these politicians seriously when they state that they are doing all that they can to prevent the virus from spreading ???

    They are putting truckers at an increased risk which is increasing public risk ! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the virus will continue to spread between the USA & Canada !

    What enhanced safety measure are these so called trucking associations taking now to ensure trucker “safety” during this pandemic especially since some will be continuously crossing the border in and out ???

    I’ll tell you what they’re doing , NOTHING !

    The FMCSA is doing the opposite ! They’re waiving the HOS regulation which will increase driver fatigue and thus weaken their immune system in the process . This is safety negligence beyond belief !!!

    There has never been a time where being a truck driver has been riskier than currently . BE VIGILANT !

    THESE REGULATORS ARE A FREAKING JOKE !

    In my humble opinion …………

  2. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    Quote :

    “We will continue to ensure that Canada receives important goods,” Trudeau said during a news conference outside his home in Ottawa. Trudeau is in self-imposed isolation ”

    WHAT A FREAKING CROCK !

    While the Canadian prime minister self isolates he’s putting others at RISK so that he can continue to live his pampered life ???!!!

    WOW !

    If you want to ensure receiving “important” goods then ensure truck driver safety during this pandemic which will also ensure public safety ! What measures have YOU POLITICIANS TAKEN TO ENSURE TRUCK DRIVER HEALTH SAFETY DURING THIS PANDEMIC TO PREVENT THEM FROM THE COVID 19 INFECTION AND SPREADING IT ??? NOTHING ! THOUGH YOU PUT THEM AT AN INCREASED RISK ! FREAKING BRILLIANT ! WOW !

    YOU TRUCK DRIVERS SHOULD DEMAND HIGHER WAGES NOW DUE TO HIGHER RISKS !!! WAKE UP !

    IMHO

  3. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    This is what I would propose based on ethics due to this international pandemic crisis for truck drivers .

    Since governments are not allowing truck drivers to self impose isolation and to continue to transport essential goods .

    Rough draft :

    1- Based on the fact that governments are issuing funds to compensate businesses and the public for certain losses and costs , they should also budget and issue funds to truck drivers, (not carriers) to compensate for their increased risks during this time of crisis to equal $1 per mile or $53 per hour .

    We cannot put a price on a life but we can compensate those who are being asked aka demanded to expose themselves to an increase in their health risks . Doubling their average salary is not gouging . It is ethically justified due to such risky circumstances .

    2- Allow truck drivers to recommend safety measures to decrease their risks and apply them ASAP or they will not move !

    3- Truck drivers should UNITE and have one heck of a PR campaign that finds every single truck driver that has been infected with the COVID 19 on the planet and hit the media constantly with these stories educating the public that truck drivers are at an increased risk of COVID 19 exposure and are being asked to remain at such risk by their governments to cater to the general public’s essential needs . While truck drivers are more than willing to support and cater to the general public’s needs , they deem it necessary to be compensated appropriately during this pandemic due to exposing themselves to such a deadly virus on a regular basis .

    4- Look at the Banks cutting rates aggressively to stimulate their economy ! This sort of behavior will increase inflation(the cost of living) tremendously in the aftermath ! They are diluting your purchasing power ! The value of your dollars are going to take a huge hit ! Applying forward thinking here is a must !

    5- NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE YOUR ETHICAL STAND DUE TO THE RISK EXPOSURE YOU’RE BEING ASKED TO TAKE ! Be wise , be fair , and don’t neglect your safety during this pandemic !

    In my humble opinion ……….

    1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

      furthermore ,
      The wage increase example was given based on a truck driver employee on payroll earning $0.50 cents per mile . The increase in wages should not be income taxed during the crisis . After 8 hours ON DUTY during this crisis truck drivers are to be compensated at time and a half due to increasing fatigue that weakens their immune systems . Therefore employers have a responsible choice to make , but need to abide by a driver’s wishes . If the driver wants to be replaced after 8 hours ON DUTY then that driver is to be replaced , not revoked from their jobs and replaced with a driver that is willing to drive more hours . We don’t want to burn drivers into sickness nor make them compete among one another during a time of crisis .

      During the time of the COVID 19 crises transportation rates should be frozen at no less than, ie: $2 per mile(could be $4 max ) , while no new permits will be issued . Government foots the bill between the average going rate and the capped frozen rate during the crisis .

      Owner operators that are “drivers” and drive their own truck should also be given double their earnings during this crisis , no more and no less .

      During the time of crisis , all prices on all essential goods should be capped to prevent price gouging . They may be sold lower but cannot be sold higher than cap price .

      Yes my dears , a time of crisis costs tremendously but needs to be capped and compensated by governments on certain points .

      IMHO

  4. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    JUST FOUND THIS NOW & SOMEONE AGREES !

    Quote :

    “Longhaul truck drivers, whose work takes them across North America with frequent interactions with customers and other drivers, are an ideal carrier for a highly contagious virus such as coronavirus.”

    BINGO ! Truck drivers are at a greater risk to get infected and infect others with the coronavirus !

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