On March 2, Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced that Canada’s federal ELD mandate, coming into force on June 12, will begin with an enforcement rollout that only involves education and awareness, with no penalties to start.
This is great news for the industry, and a position the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) has been actively advocating for. With no certified devices on Transport Canada’s list of approved devices at this time, the announcement is the only reasonable way to move forward.
The extra time will allow for more ELD providers to prepare and submit devices for certification; provide carriers more time to pick from an adequate list of approved devices; ensure there is enough time to certify devices already in use; and provide an opportunity to research new devices and make investments if required.
The recent announcement alleviates many of our concerns. However, the clock is ticking, and details on what “progressive enforcement” will look like needs to be provided to industry in a timely manner. The current announcement simply states:
“With the support of provinces and territories, and in consultation with industry, we will work together on the successful and effective implementation of a progressive enforcement period. This will give sufficient time for industry to obtain and install certified electronic logging devices without penalty as of June 12, 2021. Early enforcement measures will consist of education and awareness.”
While this announcement was necessary, it was long overdue, and it still leaves many unanswered questions. In particular, there needs to be more clarity around the reference to
“Early enforcement measures will consist of education and awareness only.”
Here are just a few related questions that need to be answered:
- Is it a timeframe of three, six, nine, 12 months or more after June 12, 2021?
- Is Phase 2 going to start with verbal or written warnings?
- When will punitive measures begin with points being applied to carrier profiles?
- Will all jurisdictions apply points the same way?
- Have jurisdictions developed conviction codes to even apply to carriers without a certified ELD?
- Are jurisdictions considering out-of-service (OOS) declarations for not having a certified ELD?
- Will those who have paper logs be treated differently than those with uncertified ELDs?
- What number of certified devices will be needed before more progressive enforcement begins?
Decisions on enforcement are a provincial and territorial responsibility because Transport Canada has no enforcement authority. Industry needs assurances from the provinces as to when penalties and fines will begin.
At this point, only Quebec has provided this information to industry, announcing that enforcement for ELDs is at least a year away, and that paper logs will still be accepted throughout this time period.
Until other provinces and territories make announcements, either collectively or independently, we simply cannot be left swinging in the wind, wondering when the string will be cut.
The PMTC has been advocating for an approach that would see no fines or penalties for at least nine months after June 12, and no warnings issued for at least six months. We also believe paper logs and uncertified ELDs need to be treated the same during the phased-in approach.
We also understand that these timelines will need to be monitored and possibly adjusted based on how the rollout of certified devices proceeds and vendors begin to populate Transport Canada’s approved list.
The PMTC continues to support the ELD mandate and the third-party certification process. But there needs to be enough time and an adequate list of certified devices for the industry to prepare.
With less than three months until the regulatory deadline, the industry needs to know in short order what the phased-in enforcement protocol will look like.
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