Manitoba's Premier and his counterpart to the south are teaming up to make an announcement regarding their Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative.
Premier Brian Pallister joined by North Dakota's Governor Doug Burgum Tuesday, is calling their announcement a "small victory."
Manitoba-based truck drivers can be vaccinated, starting tomorrow, by North Dakota.
"We are building hope together," Pallister says. "It is a good news story."
Pallister is hoping 2,000 to 4,000 people will be vaccinated in this partnership.
These vaccines will be free at the Alexander Henry Rest Area, open from noon to 8 p.m. between Wednesday to Friday for those 16-years-old or older. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be used.
The Manitoba Trucking Association is set to help the province with the rollout over the next six to eight weeks as they look at driver schedules.
"The people that are going to be vaccinated will be given verification they have been vaccinated. Manitoba Health will be aware of that."
"We have had to partner with people all over the world to get vaccines. The federal government has done its best," Pallister says. "If you look at this holistically, basically the whole world is in this. We are all in this and we are doing our best to do to get as many vaccines as possible to the people who want them and need them."
Pallister did not comment if the federal government was in agreeance with the partnership but did say he made them aware.
"I hope we are an example to others to look at the same kind of creative ideas to solve this problem because it is a problem worth solving."
The Premier is hopeful other provinces will follow the pair's lead. Both parties are hopeful the borders will re-open soon. Pallister says typically more than a million vehicles cross the borders between North Dakota and Manitoba, but this has changed.
'It is really fantastic that we are able to sign this historical document," Burgum says.
The Governor says growing up "it was always about neighbours helping neighbours," hoping to help his own neighbours to the north.
Burgum and Pallister say more vaccination partnerships may be in the future, as the United States has significantly more vaccines than Canada. Pallister says this could include members of the military, such as reservists. The Department of Defence has its own vaccine rollout, but Pallister says the partnership announced today could provide aid.