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Atlantic trucking association speaks out against vaccine mandate protests


The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association is speaking out against drivers taking part in protests.

A convoy of drivers who are opposed to the federal government’s vaccine mandate slowed traffic to a crawl Sunday at the provincial border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

“We talked to our members and they said we encourage our drivers not to participate, but you know, I feel like they just want to be heard and this is the way they’ve been doing it for years,” said Jean-Marc Picard, the executive director for the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association.

Canada now requires all truckers who enter from the United States to show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated Canadian truckers can still cross the border, but need to isolate for 14 days upon their return.

Trucker Colin Longley says the isolation is unnecessary because drivers have been cautious since the pandemic began.

“It’s been, what, two years now? We’ve been crossing borders, state borders, provincial borders, international borders. By rights we should be dropping like flies, but we’re not,” said Longley.

Longley is vaccinated, but says he only did so for his job.

“I felt pressure to do it and I still think it was the biggest mistake I’ve made,” he said.

Trucker Maurice LeBlanc has his shots as well, which means the mandate doesn’t apply to him, but he says he does support those who feel differently than he does.

“It’s up to them I guess. It’s a free country I think,” said LeBlanc.

The RCMP responded to the protest Sunday, but no fines or tickets were issued and no one was arrested.

“The primary role of the RCMP … was the promotion of public safety, working with our partners to try to continue to keep traffic moving,” said Nova Scotia RCMP Cpl. Chris Marshall.

Another convoy is scheduled to leave for Ottawa from Enfield, N.S., on Thursday to join others truckers from across the country who oppose the vaccine mandate. Top Stories

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