The head of a trucking industry association says thousands of Canadian truckers won’t be vaccinated against COVID-19 by a deadline imposed by governments on both sides of the border, throwing a supply chain already stretched thin by the global pandemic into even more chaos.

“This is making a bad situation a lot worse. It’s the perfect storm,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

A mid-January deadline for the vaccine mandate was announced by the U.S. in mid-October. Last week, Canada announced a Jan. 15 deadline for truckers crossing into this country.

Based on reports from trucking companies, Laskowski estimates that up to 20 per cent of the 120,000 Canadian truckers who regularly cross into the U.S. might not be vaccinated by the time the deadline rolls around.

“Even if every single company gets their vaccination rates up to 90 per cent, that’s still 12,000 drivers,” said Laskowski, who’s calling on both governments to delay the deadline.”