COVID-19: B.C. trucking sector asks province to bestow essential-service status

As Ottawa and B.C. are increasingly under pressure to shutter non-essential service to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the provincial trucking sector is making its case to stay open.

In a statement issued Monday morning, the United Truckers Association said it has asked the provincial government to “deem container trucking an essential service,” thereby allowing the industry to continue operating.

UTA spokesman Gagan Singh said in a statement that what prompted the action by the association was what he described as recent anonymous calls in social media to shut down container trucking to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“At this point in history, however, container trucking services are needed more than ever to ensure that Canadians have the products they require to keep their families safe and secure,” Singh said in the statement, adding that the UTA is confident its membership of 1,000 independent operator trucks can work responsibly while maintaining the provincial supply chains.

In recent days, the province and Ottawa have progressively shut down restaurants, bars, spas, barbershops, playgrounds and other public/private sectors in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.