On June 29th, on the recommendation of the Minister of Health, pursuant to section 58 of the Quarantine Act, an Order in Council was issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada allowing the asking of questions of persons entering Canada as may be required to manage the administrative requirements of the order.
As a result of this order, all Canadians, including commercial drivers can expect more detailed questions pertaining to such topics as personal information or contact information upon entering Canada. The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) encourages its members to make its drivers aware that these types of questions can be expected when entering Canada from the United States until August 31st which is the date the Order in Council is repealed. The specific reference in the Order in Council with respect to the increased powers is below:
Requirement — questions and information
- 2 Every person who enters Canada must, during the 14-day period that begins on the day on which they enter Canada and any extension of that period under subsection 3(2) or 4(4),
- (a) answer any relevant questions asked by a screening officer, quarantine officer or public health official designated under section 2.1, or asked on behalf of the Chief Public Health Officer, for the purposes of the administration of this Order; and
- (b) provide to an officer or official referred to in paragraph (a) or the Chief Public Health Officer any information or record in the person’s possession that the officer, official or Chief Public Health Officer requires, in any manner that the officer, official or Chief Public Health Officer may reasonably request, for the purposes of the administration of this Order.
The Order in Council also reminds those who are exempt from the mandatory quarantine, which commercial truck drivers are, that these Canadians must wear a non-medical mask if they are in a public setting where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
“The Government of Canada understands the economic importance of keeping the border open to essential service sectors like ours, which is moving Canada-US trade in the most safe and efficient manner possible” said CTA President, Stephen Laskowski. “There is also a recognition, at all levels of government, that companies and our drivers are not only doing an excellent job in keeping our economy going, but are doing it in a manner that proactively prevents the spread of COVID-19. CTA will continue to work with the Government of Canada to ensure our industry continues to serve the Canadian economy in an efficient way and in a manner that also protects the health and privacy of our driving professionals,” said Laskowski.
For full details of the Order in Council, please click here.