Challenger Motor Freight, Sharp Transportation voice dismay with convoy protesters in Ottawa

Truckers have proven themselves essential, keeping goods moving cross border during the pandemic, say trucking company owners

WATERLOO REGION — Truck drivers, who are much-needed essential workers transporting goods across the border, must be admired for their commitment during the pandemic, said owners of two local truck driving companies.

Now more than ever we rely on trucker drivers to keep goods moving, said Dan Einwechter of Challenger Motor Freight and Shawn Baird of Sharp Transportation Systems.

Both men, longtime owners of trucking companies in Waterloo Region, say they were disappointed that some truck drivers chose to gather in Ottawa on the weekend to protest against COVID-19 health restrictions.


Thousands of truckers and supporters, many waving placards and banners, gathered on Parliament Hill calling for an end to vaccine mandates and other public health restrictions on Saturday. There was obvious anger directed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other political leaders, but protesters were not violent.

“I understand they are upset, that they are frustrated and I know full well that we are suffering from COVID fatigue,” said Einwechter, chair and CEO of Challenger Motor Freight in Cambridge.


“I think it’s unfortunate that people have gone to this level to express their discontent,” he said.

Einwechter said he heard from many of his drivers who are frustrated with the convey to Ottawa.


“They are saying that they have done what it takes to protect our country. We just want to be out there doing our job, delivering food and other products and keep the economy going,” he said.

The supply chain is stressed enough, Einwechter said.

On Jan. 22, U.S. President Joe Biden mandated that truckers coming to the United States must be vaccinated. In Canada, the vaccine mandate forcing proof-of-vaccination policy for cross-border drivers took effect Jan. 15.

Einwechter said the protest is a “hollow fight” because even if the vaccine mandate is lifted in Canada, it still exists with American counterparts.

Einwechter said the next phase could be the Canadian government mandating federally-regulated truckers to be vaccinated to haul within Canada. Currently, unvaccinated truckers can still transport goods within Canada.

He said truckers have done “such an admirable job” for two years by moving freight before vaccines and being in harm’s way. Truckers were always seen as essential workers moving goods across the border.

“The historical performance has been phenomenal for our industry. The incident rate is extremely low,” he said.

Shawn Baird with Sharp Transportation Systems of Cambridge posted on Instagram last week asking truckers to be professional as they gathered in Ottawa.

“From the start of the pandemic, you cared for the public and risked yourselves to cross the border with essential supplies. You kept our hospitals running, shelves full and food our tables. Please continue to remember the public as you approach the Capital. As we needed you then, we continue to need you now more than ever,” he wrote.

Sharp has 72 drivers and all but three are vaccinated. Each day, his drivers, who deliver mostly pharmaceutical goods, are crossing the American border.

Baird said none of his drivers could participate in the Ottawa rally using a company truck. “I wouldn’t allow that,” he said.

Instead, many of the participating truckers are likely independent drivers who own their own trucks, Baird said.

Einwechter said the provincial trucking association, which supports a vaccine mandate, has received threatening emails. He, too, said he has received emails questioning him on his company’s stand.

“Thank God we live in a country that we have these freedoms and we can protest and express our perspectives. It crosses the line when you make threats against others because they disagree with you,” Einwechter said.

“The protest has been taken over as a platform by the disenfranchised, the disenchanted,” he said.


Einwechter started his Cambridge business in 1974. He now has 1,500 employees, three-quarters of them drivers.

Much of their core business is driving goods including food, building materials, and health care products across the American border.


“Seventy per cent of our business is cross-border,” he said. “We have this interconnected world of trade.”

Einwechter said the company asked employees to self-declare their status and when the government mandated vaccination for truckers, the company told workers they must be vaccinated.

His company promoted getting the jab and held vaccination clinics at his business. More than 90 per cent of his staff is vaccinated.

Baird said he knows of fellow trucking company owners who have vaccination rates of 50 per cent which could put them out of business.

In the past week, he’s had more than 100 calls from drivers looking for work, but only to drive within Canada.

Liz Monteiro
Liz Monteiro is a Waterloo Region-based general assignment reporter for The Record. Reach her via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Challenger Motor Freight, Sharp Transportation voice dismay with convoy protesters in Ottawa |



January 27th, 2022 - Our Statement for the Freedom Convoy:

Requirements for truckers entering Canada in effect as of
January 15, 2022

Requirements for truckers entering Canada in effect as of January 15, 2022


January 13, 2022 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

Today, the Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, and the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, issued the following statement:

"On November 19, 2021, we announced that as of January 15, 2022, certain categories of travellers who are currently exempt from entry requirements, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada.

These groups include several essential service providers, including truck drivers. Let us be clear: This has not changed. The information shared yesterday was provided in error. Our teams have been in touch with industry representatives to ensure they have the correct information.

A Canadian truck driver who is not fully vaccinated can't be denied entry into Canada—Canadian citizens, persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act and permanent residents may enter Canada by right.

As announced in November and as we've communicated with the industry recently, starting January 15, unvaccinated Canadian truck drivers entering Canada will need to meet requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day 8 testing, as well as quarantine requirements.

The final decision regarding entry and quarantine is made by a government representative at the port of entry, based on the information presented to them at the time.

Any individual who is symptomatic upon arrival to Canada will be directed to a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) official and will be directed to isolate for 10 days from the time symptoms first occurred.

As of January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign national truck drivers, coming to Canada from the US by land, will be directed back to the United States.

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller and to enter Canada, foreign national truck drivers must:

  • have received at least two doses of a vaccine accepted for travel, a mix of two accepted vaccines
    • or at least one dose of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine
  • have received their second dose at least 14 full days before they enter Canada
    • For example: if a driver received their second dose anytime on Saturday, January 1, then Sunday, January 16 would be the first day that they would meet the 14-day condition.
  • Have submitted all required COVID-19 information into ArriveCAN.

The Government of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to prioritize the health and safety of Canadians. As vaccination levels, case counts and hospitalization rates evolve, the Government of Canada will continue to consider further targeted measures at the borders—and when to lift or adjust them—to keep Canadians safe."

Associated Links


Marie-France Proulx
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
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Craig MacBride
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
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Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
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Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
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Media Relations
Public Safety Canada
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Public Inquiries:


Requirements for truckers entering Canada in effect as of January 15, 2022 -

Vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers to take effect; Ottawa calls reversal ‘error’

BREAKING NEWS: Border-crossing Canadian truck drivers won’t face quarantines, testing under vaccine mandate

COVID Support Continued
Jan. 2021

Sharp is pleased to announce our support and contribution for the Grand River Hospital COVID Vaccine Clinic.

All hands on deck, we will get through this together with continued solidarity.


Ontario Makes it Easier for Truck Drivers to get Tested for COVID-19
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Sharp Trailer & Transport Services Donated to Deliver Essentials to Hospital
April 30, 2020

We were proud to donate our newly wrapped trailer to aid in the transportation of products, including a large volume of over-bed tables to combat the #covid19 fight from Stat Medical to Grand River Hospital yesterday.

Sharp Trucks Donated to Support Ontario Message
April 21, 2020

Trucker hauls message as essential as her freight
April 12, 2020

Sharp is proud proud to have donated 3 trailers to the Women's Trucking Federation of Canada mission. Great article covering the cause via FreightWaves:

Shelley Uvanile-Hesch hopes people will think twice about leaving home during the COVID-19 pandemic after seeing her trailer as she moves vital goods between Canada and the United States.


‘People die’ if US-Canada medical trade stops, pharma hauler says
April 6, 2020

A great interview with our CEO. Thanks to our Professional Drivers Brian Steckley (article cover) and Jeff Betts (NY) for the excellent photos that were used in the article. Thanks Nate Tabak of FreightWaves for taking the time to cover such a critical area of our industry.

Sharp Transportation Systems keeps Americans and Canadians supplied with essential medicines and vaccines as tensions mount over cross-border medical supply chains.


COVID-19: les héros de la route – COVID-19: The Heroes of the Road – Serge Lapierre
March 25, 2020


Serge Lapierre hauls pharmaceutical products to the United States for Ontario based company Sharp Transportation. We spoke to him earlier this week as he drove towards Cambridge before leaving for Tennessee and Oklahoma. He will then travel to Texas to take his mandatory 36-hour reset and pick up a return shipment. He will be gone for almost two weeks.

"I have everything I need in my truck, except a shower and a toilet," he says, adding that he has enough food to eat properly during his entire trip. "Even if everything closes, I won't be in trouble!"

His son, a paramedic, even gave him some advice to protect himself from the virus while on the road. For example, “Wear gloves when handling your passport and waybills.” Of course the Customs Officer is wearing gloves, but we don't know what he touched before taking your passport, so we should always wear gloves when we take it back," warns Mr. Lapierre, adding that his son showed him the right way to take the gloves off. “Then the documents go into quarantine for 72 hours in the glove compartment."

He also stresses the importance of staying focused on not touching your face as much as possible - people touch their face on average once a minute. Finally, he suggests limiting cash transactions and using your own pencil when it comes to signing documents.

"If we protect ourselves properly, we are the least dangerous person on the planet," he said about the truck drivers. "You never see anyone. All social is done with the phone today. Before it was CB, but no one uses it anymore. "

One of the main changes that Mr. Lapierre has seen over the past few days is the attitude of motorists on the highway. For the first time in his long career, he was honked for something other than insults. "When I turned my head, I could read "thank you" on the lady's lips and it made me really happy," he said. "Another thing that has changed is that I feel like I'm going to war when I pack my suitcase!"


COVID-19: Brain evolution helps explain fear contagion
March 25, 2020

Spread education, not fear

Yesterday we asked Professional Drivers for their feedback on fears and concerns relating to their roles and Covid. We received an overwhelming number of responses. The most common observation was not only that the vast majority are afraid, but they are even more afraid to share their fears publicly or with their Carrier.

How do we help ease fears?

  • Acknowledge that people are afraid or have concerns. Fear is normal and fear is OK. It alerts us to be conscious and proceed with caution
  • Do not minimize people’s fears or dismiss them with “stay positive” clichés and lectures. People are losing their jobs, businesses and health. Dismissing this reality only causes people to feel more isolated and gives them no safe place to express their fears. Instead, help brainstorm solutions and upload continual resources on social media or websites that address the issues and crisis people are currently facing. Remind them we are all in this together. This means we all lose together, and we all win together. Equipping people with tools is far more effective than barraging them with dismissive quotes and clichés.
  • Spreading the positivity is important, but only once the 2 steps listed above have been followed first. Now that you have equipped your people with tools, productive information and resources, you can take steps to redirect the focus from fear and provide reasons for people to have hope. One example would be putting into perspective that not so long ago, the devastation in China had over 80,000 affected and the country in lockdown for 2 months. Hope for a future was bleak at best. Today, China has not only defeated the virus, but has done a 360 and have begun to resume a normal life. We can do the same, providing we all follow PPE and protective measures and stay at home unless necessary to leave
  • Anyone can be a leader, so take the opportunity to lead. Spread the calm. Not in words, but in actions. Smile for people to see. Help wherever and however you can. Encourage those around you. Set the example.

If you want to understand fear and how we impact each other, read this:

Truckers brave coronavirus outbreak to deliver goods: 'If we stop, the world stops'
March 23, 2020

Read this and think about it. Hopefully the respect for Professional Drivers and understanding of how critical they are to society is remembered long after this all passes.

Shipping is essential - We continue to remain fully operational
March 20, 2020

Due to the essential nature of work that Professional Truck Drivers are performing, our provider has confirmed that they will continue to provide emergency medical coverage if our Professional Drivers become ill with COVID-19 or for any other medical emergency while working out of country.

We wanted to share this information to help put everyone at ease a bit during these unusual times. This coverage is crucial for our Professional Drivers, but also for our clients to have the assurance we can continue to provide service without risk of no coverage.

At HQ we are running a skeleton staff and most are able to work remotely. We continue to take every precaution for internal and external safety concerning this crisis.

In the meantime, please be safe and reach out if there is anything we can do to support your needs. 


Shipping is essential - We continue to remain fully operational
March 17, 2020

Good morning everyone. We are sending a little humour and words of encouragement in seemingly uncertain times. Let's keep working together to help one another and get this right.

At Sharp we are blessed to have Professional Drivers who are willing and ready to serve the community. We have retired Professional Drivers who have reached out to return to duty if it helps serve the community. We are still in operation and ready to help keep shelves stocked, thanks to our incredible team who recognize that their roles are not only essential but absolutely critical. With that, they are willing and prepared to serve.

We are now, and have always used best practices in sanitation and cleanliness, conduct, precautions with interactions, especially given the nature of the commodity our fleet is most dedicated to. We will continue to uphold our measures of safety, due diligence and sanitation for your safety as well as ours.

Hats off once again to our incredible team and Professional Drivers for their sacrifices and being willing and prepared to serve from the front lines 🙏

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts....

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Just a little laugh for our Professional Driver's with their furry sidekicks on the front lines

Protecting yourself during COVID-19 Outbreak - With some humour for brain health:
March 6, 2020

Covid-19 is no joke, but we thought we would share some comic relief in the current panic.

Here are some pointers on how to keep you and your loved ones protected.

1. Diligent hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of Covid19
(This should be done as frequently as possible, but especially before food prep and/or consumption)

2. Keep hands away from face (eyes, nose, mouth)

3. Stay home if you are sick

4. Do not come into close contact with people who are sick.

4. Cover your nose when you sneeze or cough with a tissue and throw the tissue away

5. Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces often

6. IF soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that has minimum 60% alcohol content. If soap, water and/or hand sanitizer are not available, then it might be time to concede and accept you are joining forces with the Zombie Apocalypse


Copyright 2021 - Sharp Transportation