Ahead of supply chain summit, trucking alliance calls for help filling 23,000 vacant driver positions

‘Canada moves by truck, and the most important occupation in that supply chain is truck drivers and we need a solution’

OTTAWA – The Liberal government is promising more money to address bottlenecks and infrastructure problems that are gumming up supply chains, but the president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance said it’s a lack of people that are slowing things down.

Alliance president Stephen Laskowski, who represents trucking companies, said the industry is desperately short of drivers and needs government help with training and recruitment costs

“If the government’s going to ask us what supply chain actions and strategies are required to support an economic recovery, it’s addressing the labour shortage that’s in our industry,” he said. “I don’t know if anyone has more of an acute labour shortage than the trucking industry.”

Laskowski, has been front and centre this week, in the controversy over vaccine mandates for truckers, but he said the labour shortage goes far beyond the mandate. The alliance supports vaccination, but asked the government to consider at least delaying the cross-border rules due to labour shortage

On Monday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra is hosting a “national supply-chain summit,” with the stated goal of looking for solutions to move goods faster into and across the country.

A statement from his office said the summit is just a continuation of the government’s work.

“Our government has taken action to address supply chain challenges that have emerged during the pandemic,” he said. “We have been engaging with key partners from transport-related industry including ports, rail, trucking, and grocery suppliers. Investing in trade corridors and hubs is essential to our country’s overall economic recovery.”