Truck company offering $10,000 to vaccinated drivers as deadline nears

Cars and trucks travel on Monday, March 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A trucking company is offering a $10,000 bonus to all drivers who have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by mid-January.

Fuel Transport, a freight company with offices in Montreal and Toronto, says it hopes the incentive will boost employee vaccination rates and head off potential delays at the border.

The federal government announced last month it will close certain loopholes in its vaccination requirement for international travellers, including for essential service providers such as truck drivers.

As of Jan. 15, all truckers looking to cross into Canada will need to be fully inoculated.

Non-residents who are not fully vaccinated will be turned away at the border, while residents of the same status will have to show proof of a recent negative test and quarantine for two weeks.

The trucking sector, which suffered from an acute labour shortage even before the pandemic, is feeling the workforce crunch more than ever as demand ramps up amid an e-commerce surge.

Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada, says the rule change next month will have an impact, "we just don't know how severe."

The $10,000 Fuel Transport bonus will be paid out over 12 months, the company said in a release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2021