As I pondered on this week’s topic, I saw the story on the blockade at the Canadian border. It seems that the fallout from the pandemic keeps hitting the trucking industry. This particular protest is quickly showing it could cause great pain to more than the logistics industry. With there already being a supply change shortage, and record inflation. The timing could not be worse, or better, depending on which side of the issue you fall.
I better start at the beginning. Canada has very stringent COVID restrictions for the logistics industry, including a vaccine mandate. Some truckers have had enough and formed a blockade on the U.S./Canadian border. Anyone crossing from Canada into the United States through Alberta, at Coutts Crossing, is in for a long wait. In theory, this protest was a good idea; the right to assemble and all that good stuff peacefully.
However, now folks are suffering because of this protest. Today it seems that the protesters are more determined than ever. The blockade has already hurt the supply chain. The auto industry is taking a hit. And it is just the beginning, some news outlets are reporting that other areas in the US are considering joining the blockade. So, what does one do if your company gets caught in the middle of this fight?
Well, the good news is no one is taking this challenge lightly, from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to the Department of Homeland Security.
The RCMP originally took the diplomatic approach, speaking to both sides of the issue until now. A portion of their statement reads: “What may have begun as a peaceful assembly quickly turned into an unlawful blockade…… We thought we had a path to resolution; the protesters eventually chose not to comply.
So what we have now is similar to a standoff, one side fighting for something they believe in, the other side fighting to stay stop the ripple effect this blockade is having across Canada and the US.
The RCMP has stated the next step will be to start arresting protesters. A lose-lose for all involved. The RCMP said it took action after disagreeing with the protesters, warning that those who remain could face arrest. “We thought we had a path to resolution, and the protesters eventually chose not to comply,” stated an anonymous source.
So stay tuned. Until next time we meet. Let’s hope that everyone can find a peaceful resolution to the problem for all involved.
By Tawny Gaines
*Excerpts from the article “Move against Trucker Blockage.” By Nate Tabak
**For more information on the blockade, call Alberta RCMP Media Relations
*** NBC News