Alberta Premier Jason Kenney
© Greg Southam/Postmedia
"It's bad public health theatre and it needs to go," said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in a tweet on Wednesday.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, joined by 16 American governors, have written to President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau demanding the end of vaccination mandates for cross-border truckers.

The letter, released on social media Wednesday morning, comes after weeks of protest in Canada over COVID-19 measures, most prominently in Ottawa, at the Ambassador Bridge in Ontario and in Coutts, Alta.

"We are deeply concerned that terminating these exemptions has had demonstrably negative impacts on the north American supply chain, the cost of living and access to essential products for the people of both our countries," the letter says.

Ostensibly, the protests, which have snarled traffic and disrupted millions of dollars in trade, began in reaction to such mandates, which came into effect in Canada one month ago, and closed a loophole that had allowed unvaccinated truckers to cross the border.

The United States, just days after Canada, introduced its own mandates insisting foreign travellers be vaccinated when crossing the U.S. border from Canada and Mexico.

"It's bad public health theatre and it needs to go," said Kenney in a tweet.

It led to fears in January that there would be disruptions to the supply chain, although Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said two weeks into the new rules, there had been "no sign whatsoever" of decreased transport truck traffic across the U.S.-Canada border.

The letter to Biden and Trudeau asks both governments to "immediately reinstate" exemptions for cross-border truck traffic, citing the strain already on supply chains because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It claims that "thousands of drivers" will leave the trucking industry, which is "already facing a significant workforce shortage."

"The removal of these exemptions is ultimately unnecessary and we cannot afford to lose any more truck drivers who transport food and other vital supplies across the border," the letter says.

Last month, Kenney travelled to the United States, and said he spoke with a number of U.S. governors who wanted to see the mandates dropped.

In addition to Moe and Kenney, the governors from Montana, Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming signed the letter.