OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Canadian Meat Council (CMC) recently stated that 150 loads of beef are waiting to cross the Canadian-US border in Coutts, Alberta.

The blockage stems from a protest of the Canadian government’s vaccine mandate that requires any unvaccinated Canadian trucker who returns from the US border to quarantine once they are back in Canada.

“It is not yet clear what the provincial or federal government is doing to facilitate a resolution,” said Marie-France MacKinnon, spokesperson for the CMC, in a statement to MEAT+POULTRY. “The longer this takes, it will cause more supply chain issues and this will affect everyone from producer to consumer.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the protest which has also been going on in the Canadian capital of Ottawa during the last few days.  

CMC added that Canadian meat plants are dealing with loss of exports markets and unprecedented labor shortages over the last two years. 

“Now more than ever, we need the government to provide some relief for meat processors by raising the temporary foreign worker cap to 30%,” MacKinnon said. “Our members have enough to worry about, having a full workforce would certainly help them navigate all of the supply chain issues that we keep facing.”

In a recent BBC article, the Canadian Truck Alliance estimates that 85-90% of the 120,000 Canadian truckers who travel between the United States and Canada are vaccinated.