What’s Trending in Canada’s Transportation Industry?
Every transportation organization is unique. So, too, are the industry issues that come from operating in a specific country or geography in North America.
From regulatory updates such as the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate to information involving driver enablement, check out a compilation of newsworthy items from around the Canadian provinces.
MELT Now Active in British Columbia
On Oct. 18, 2021, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), took a dramatic step in prioritizing on-road best practices with its deployment of mandatory entry-level training (MELT), for all Class 1 license candidates.
Developed with input from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, MELT’s training guidelines exceed the National Safety Code Standard’s Class 1 basic training conditions, requiring 140 total hours, including in-yard and academic training, and behind-the-wheel driving hours.
Said Dave Earle, BC Trucking Association, BCTA president and CEO, “We were pleased to work closely with the provincial government and other stakeholders to develop a system that raises the bar on safety and helps meet the needs of employers and drivers.”
Applicants seeking a commercial operator’s license must pass an ICBC-approved Class 1 MELT course before taking a road test.
Alberta, Manitoba Fend Off ELD Enforcement Warnings
Frustrated by delays with the launch of certified electronic logging devices (ELDs) in rigs throughout Canada (including integration and equipment access), some provinces are pushing back against fines or official warnings.
An October 2021 article on trucknews.com reported, “Alberta officials have told the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) that the province may ease away from the deadline for its official warning notices, but nothing has been committed in writing. Manitoba officials also continue to be stubborn.” In response, enforcement without punitive penalties (originally December 2021) is now June 12, 2022.
Addressing limitations in parts availability, Frank Stowers, senior product manager, Trimble Transportation, acknowledged, “These supply-chain problems are real and impacting the industry, but we’re confident in our ability to meet our customer needs.”
Supply-Chain Concerns Disrupt Saskatchewan’s Holiday Plans
Transportation industry issues continue to impede the central prairie region’s supply chain and may add stressors to the always-taxing holiday shopping season, said Susan Ewart, executive director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association.
“The labour shortages across the country are definitely causing supply chain challenges.” Ewart discussed in an October 2021 interview on local radio. “We’re hearing from members that they are placing orders and (are) not going to receive equipment they need until 2023.”
Ewart emphasized that the transportation industry needs more funding for training, and provincial governments must work together to address driver shortages.
Legislation May Give Ontario Drivers Relief
Access to restrooms was among the myriad issues Ontario drivers confronted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic—yet even as health restrictions lessen, finding available washrooms remains a problem for the province’s more than 200,000 truck, courier, and food delivery drivers.
In a landmark move, Monte Gary McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, is spearheading legislation that will make it law for drivers to have access to washrooms at businesses where they are delivering or retrieving items.
Calling it “truly unacceptable” that drivers are consistently denied access to washroom facilities while on the job, McNaughton said, “These are key people in our economy that are delivering goods and it’s important.”
If passed, it will be the first such law in North America. Ontario businesses unwilling to comply could face financial penalties through the Ministry of Labour.
PEI’s Mandatory Testing for Truckers Scrutinized
A public health order that requires visitors to Prince Edward Island (PEI) age eight and older be tested at a COVID-19 checkpoint before being allowed entry is under consideration by the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA).
The organization, which represents commercial road transport interests throughout Atlantic Canada, recently questioned the directive that creates additional delays for drivers already hampered by pandemic-related measures. ATPA has urged the government to exempt truckers from mandatory testing at the Confederation Bridge, a two-lane toll bridge linking the Trans-Canada Highway between New Brunswick and PEI.
Noting the essential-worker status of drivers, Jean-Marc Picard, APTA executive director told CBC News, "There's no reason why other provinces give full exemption and PEI can't. It's the same job, we do the same thing . . . we definitely need to waive everything for truck drivers and let the supply chain flow."
Trucking HR Canada Delivers Opportunity
In response to several years of staff shortages beleaguering the transportation and logistics industry, Trucking HR Canada has launched Career ExpressWay to attract young people to stable, financially rewarding jobs in the on-road and non-driving sectors.
The program provides timely opportunities, says Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada, who explained, “As the Canadian economy looks to rebound from COVID‑19, we need to ensure we have skilled workers supporting the continued flow of goods through Canada’s supply chain,”
Funded through the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, Career ExpressWay offers subsidies as an incentive to potential employees who might be deterred by costs and financing.
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