Canadians May Soon See Less Food On Shelves

By Ben Hamill - January 26 2022

Canadians May Soon See Less Food On ShelvesCanada might soon experience food shortages, at least as far as some items are concerned. The new cross border vaccination mandate, put in place due to a resurgence of the world health crisis, is almost certain to impact supply chains. This in turn means less deliveries, which is a problem that speaks for itself. But government officials are urging Canadians to refrain from panic buying.

Spokesperson for the Retail Council of Canada, Michelle Wasylyshen, declared that there will be food on grocery store shelves. Though added that some items will likely see a drop in availability. She specifically mentioned that meats, vegetables, fresh fruit, soaps, and cereals will be less abundant.

Multiple Supply Chain Concerns

But it isn’t just vaccination mandates that are causing food shortages. Some Canadians have already noticed alarmingly empty shelves, causing more than a bit of concern. This present situation, however, isn’t the result of the mandate.  According to Wasylyshen a shortage already exists due to the severe winter storms. She explained that weather can have a severe impact, and that as it stands certain items have already started to get scarce.

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Weather and mandates are just the start of the growing problem. It seems that labor shortages are also playing a role, with an unprecedented number of delivery workers being forced to self-isolate. Hence it is a case of various problems all combining to create a growing, countrywide problem.

Regardless it is still important that Canadians avoid triggering another panic buying phenomenon, and keep in mind that the shortages are only temporary. The current world health crisis wave already seems to have reached its peak, meaning that supply chains are sure to return to normal.

Worse Before It Gets Better

But it must also be kept in mind that, presently, the full impact of the cross-border mandate has yet to be felt. Canada’s vaccine mandate came into effect on the 15th of January, while the United States followed on the 22nd. This means that shortages are likely due to get briefly worse before they get better.

Food distribution professor at Dalhousie University, Sylvain Charlebois, explained the situation. The professor stressed that a massive $21 billion worth of grocery store items are imported into Canada. Of that total, around 70% is transported via roads. Charlebois went on to point out that the Canadian Trucking Alliance has estimated that 32,000 truck drivers may be unable to work in coming weeks.

The professor concluded that the statics paint a definite picture, and that further shortages are all but guaranteed.