Dieppe, NB – The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) made a statement yesterday saying changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) implemented only a month ago are already impacting carriers in Atlantic Canada.
Jean-Marc Picard of the APTA said they are in disbelief. The APTA made a press release available with his comments. They are as follows:
“With these proposed changes, the long haul truck driver is pegged in the low skill/low wage category which is why we are obliged by these changes. But in reality, a long haul truck driver in Atlantic Canada is a high wage occupation because they are paid more than the provincial average for truck drivers. We have submitted data to Minister Kenney’s office that proves clearly that we are above the provincial average for truck drivers with no response and empty promises once again.
“This will have a long term impact on the economy and the consumers in the area. Carriers are now faced with a dilemma; they need to fill empty truck seats and there are no drivers to recruit! Parking trucks is now a reality for some carriers, which mean loss of jobs, less tax money coming in and freight contracts being trucked by out of province carriers.
“The Government needs to realize how important the trucking industry is to our economy…without it, goods don’t move and without drivers, trucks don’t move, it’s not that complicated!
“Data taken directly from the NB National Occupational Code database shows that the average wage for a Truck Driver in NB is $18.41/hour, the provincial average is $17.79, therefore, they should be in the high wage category. How can Minister Kenney avoid these facts? It is crystal clear!”
“Some carriers will need to replace their Temporary Foreign Workers from their driver pool and in today’s current situation; it will mean parking trucks because recruiting skilled drivers is nearly impossible. Now they are all competing for the same drivers and their aren’t that many of them available.
“We need to be heard and this situation needs to be addressed as soon as possible, not in the fall or this winter. Minister Kenney needs to realize that this matter will impact businesses, the consumers and the economy, and yes all due to his changes.”