REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA) is standing with the Canadian Trucking Alliance in support of voluntary COVID-19 testing, but in opposition of mandatory testing at the U.S.-Canada border that could result in shipping delays.

Truckers crossing the U.S.-Canada border are being screened by border officials for symptoms upon re-entering Canada. The STA said it’s unnecessary. Instead, SAT is encouraging the government to introduce voluntary testing sites to be located away from the border and busy ports of entry to prevent any delays in the supply chain. 

The STA said nearly 30,000 trucks carrying essential items such as food, medical products, and household goods cross the border each day. 

“Mandatory testing at the border can cause delays and potential fulfilment issues right across many sectors because trucking does support the entire economy,” said Jordan Ewart, said manager of policy and government relations. 

In a press conference on Wednesday, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab acknowledged the important role truckers have played as essential workers. He added that people in the industry can seek regular testing away from the border, which is easily available in Saskatchewan. 

“There’s virtually no barrier to access regular testing and as point of care testing gets deployed, they can use that more frequently,” said Dr. Shahab, adding that he will discuss the recommendations with the federal government.