COVID-19 has caused extensive economic turmoil for various industries worldwide, and it has begun to cause division within social communities. In Canada, new regulations and restrictions for COVID vaccinations have been implemented within international travel guidelines. These regulations have triggered protestation from international truckers, who feel as if their rights to bodily autonomy have been violated.
The Canadian-US border, a major international bridge that is crucial for international trade, has become blockaded by truckers protesting the new vaccine regulations. These regulations require all truckers between Canada and the US to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or they will have to forcefully resign. This sparked a vigorous protest for Canadian truckers, as they quickly blockaded the border in an attempt to regain control. In Canada’s capital, Ottawa, hundreds of truckers crowded the bridge, ignited bonfires in the streets, and partied to prevent any traffic from crossing.
Over the last three weeks, Canadian police enforcement has been able to slowly regain control of their community and has begun to disperse individuals from the bridge blockade. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously planned to invoke the Emergency Act to provide the government with extra assistance to handle protesters peacefully. This act was constructed to be utilized in critical and urgent situations that may cause harm or endanger individuals.
While many individuals have continued to protest these vaccination regulations, the economic crisis that the bridge blockade was causing has been put to an end. Fortunately for protesters, the vaccination regulations have been lifted in Ontario, Canada as of February 14th, 2022. Although the vaccination regulations have been eradicated, the Emergency Act has been implemented in order to preserve the well-being of Canadian citizens.
Globally, vaccination regulations have been hindering any progress that has been made within the current manufacturing cargo crisis. This crisis was triggered due to the 2-year long pandemic, as the economy has been struggling to find equilibrium and the workforce shortage is at an all-time low. Vaccination regulations provide an incentive for individuals to refrain from returning to work, thus extending the labor shortage and forcing international manufacturing to stockpile.
After two years of the global pandemic, the manufacturing industry is struggling to return to its pre-COVID state. At the Canadian Border, the trucker protests have made matters worse for various industries, including the automotive industry. The auto industry is becoming severely depleted in various sectors; from semiconductor shortages and supply chain chaos to an overwhelming labor shortage, it has been very difficult for automotive manufacturers to recover. In Canada, the main routes that handle steel, aluminum, and various other parts that allow auto factories to operate smoothly were shut down on both sides of the border, causing issues within the supply chain.
Unfortunately, there is no end in sight for the negative effects that the Canadian trucker protests have forced up the manufacturing and automotive industries. Automotive companies, such as Ford Motor and Honda, have curtailed their production at various factories, thus threatening the paychecks of their employees and providing zero certainties for when their supply chain will recover. In the coming days, the protests are projected to continue and possibly spread to the United States, forcing the manufacturing industry to suffer indefinitely.