February 4, 2022

Statement on the Border Protest in Coutts

This week, I have been contacted by individuals, mostly living outside of the riding I represent, who have expressed concerns about the federal government's border vaccine mandate.

Members of the provincial "United" Conservative Party have called for the removal of all COVID mandates, against best recommendations from public health officials. Environment Minister Jason Nixon also urged Albertans to contact their local MP about the border mandate. In his statement. he committed to holding Premier Jason Kenney accountable if he does not lift provincial restrictions "imminently" (the UCP leadership race must be well underway, as it is uncommon to see such boldness from Alberta cabinet ministers).

I will restate the federal government's position in response to the "demand" from Minister Nixon. Our government is keeping the border vaccine mandate in place. We will not pander to protesters who have unlawfully demonstrated, harassed Canadians, impacted front-line services, and impeded the flow of goods. We will take guidance from public health officials while working with the American government to coordinate policy for the mutual benefit of both countries and our respective citizens.

Having spoken with truckers. many of whom reside in Calgary Skyview, I acknowledge that the vast majority are law-abiding, responsible, and vaccinated. Their priority is the health and well-­being of their families. They understand the essential service they provide in the Canadian economy. It is why over 90% of truckers are vaccinated and why trucking associations and companies do not support the disruption caused by the protests.

I again call on relevant law enforcement agencies to facilitate the full resumption of cross­-border traffic while maintaining the right to peaceful demonstration.


George Chahal, M.P.

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