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Coronavirus: Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association wants clarity on new border rules

Jean-Marc Picard, who is the executive director of Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, says the impacts diesel fluctation can vary.
Jean-Marc Picard, who is the executive director of Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, says the impacts diesel fluctation can vary. Callum Smith / Global News

Recent restrictions imposed by the federal government limiting travelers from entering Canada have caused some concern in the Atlantic trucking industry.

Jean-Marc Picard, the executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association said with a number of temporary foreign workers serving as truck drivers in the region there remains a level of uncertainty at the Canada-United States border.

READ MORE: Canada tightens borders over coronavirus — will it curb COVID-19’s spread?

“There’s been a few incidents already since last night, therefore, it’s causing even more anxiety in the driver population,” explained Picard.

“So we’re obviously talking to other provinces and our national organization to try to get ahead of the situation so it doesn’t get any worse.”

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He said he’s fielded a number of calls from members who are worried that they won’t be permitted back into Canada after completing routine pickups in the US.

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While declaring the trucking industry as an essential service will allow them to operate as usual, Picard said an increase in the number of questions from border officials underscores the need for more clarity from the federal government.

N.B. chief medical officer recommending closure of childcare centers
N.B. chief medical officer recommending closure of childcare centers

“Since yesterday there’s obviously more question marks around immigrant drivers,” Picard explained. “There’s a lot of the officers talking to drivers and from what I can tell the communication is not clear to customs so we need to be all on the same page here.”

“We need to be a little bit more clear on what that means for trucking.”

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Picard indicated that despite businesses closing their carriers still remain busy.

He said in order to do the important work they do it’s important that all drivers can rest assured they won’t be denied reentry.

“The stat is that a truck crosses the border every three seconds,” he said. “For the most part, everybody’s still working.”