I'm not one to force my political leanings on anyone. I just think it's important everyone gets out and votes. I'll even insist my wife accompany me to the polls when I know her ballot will cancel out my own. More than ever, I think it's...
I’m not one to force my political leanings on anyone. I just think it’s important everyone gets out and votes. I’ll even insist my wife accompany me to the polls when I know her ballot will cancel out my own. More than ever, I think it’s important Ontario truck drivers make a concerted effort to get out and vote – in advance, if necessary – in the Oct. 6 provincial election. Simply put, the incumbent Liberals have done the trucking industry a disservice during their eight-year reign. I present to you, five reasons to turf the Liberals in the Oct. 6 provincial election:
Speed limiters: With a couple years to assess Ontario’s speed limiter law, I think we can agree it did not have the disastrous consequences some were predicting. I think it also has done very little, if anything at all, to improve highway safety. Setting aside your personal beliefs on whether Ontario’s 105 law was necessary, it was handled very poorly by our legislators. I was there at Queen’s Park during the public hearings and the MPPs who were present seemingly had very little interest in what anyone had to say. They showed up already knowing the outcome. Several poked away at their Blackberries while truckers expressed their concerns.
Waste oil heaters: In 2007, the Ontario Liberals announced on the front step of oil recycler Safety-Kleen that it would no longer allow shops and truck fleets to burn their used engine oil in waste oil furnaces. Instead, companies – some of which invested thousands in waste oil heaters – would have to pay Safety-Kleen or other oil re-refiners to come to their facility and pick up the oil for recycling. The Liberals cited environmental benefits, despite the fact the EPA endorses the use of waste oil heaters. No word on the engine emissions from all those Safety-Kleen trucks on the road, transporting used oil to their refineries.
Age discrimination: The Ontario Liberals can’t be blamed for introducing the province’s discriminatory practice of requiring road tests for all commercial drivers aged 65 or older. But they can be criticized for failing to rectify the issue while at the same time loosening licensing requirements for drivers pulling RV trailers behind fifth-wheel-equipped pick-up trucks. It used to be that an AZ licence was required, but now any full G licence allows a driver with no special training to pull a combination 46-ft. long and weighing more than 24,000 lbs. Where’s the consistency?
Smoking in trucks: Smoking is bad for you, nobody would disagree. But the Liberals in 2006 introduced the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which forbids truckers working for provincially regulated carriers from smoking in their company-owned trucks. Worse, the frontline enforcement folks seem not to understand the difference between federally and provincially regulated carriers, and have been wrongfully fining federally regulated truckers for smoking in their trucks. The smoking law, as it applies to provincially controlled trucking companies, is another example of the long arm of government reaching way too far into your life – and your truck cab.
Biofuel mandate: Okay, it’s a federal law, but still Ontario seemingly did nothing to fight the feds’ biodiesel mandate that will require all diesel sold in Canada to contain a minimum 2% biofuel content. Quebec and the Atlantic provinces implemented an exemption to Dec. 31, 2012 while Newfoundland shunned the requirement altogether. Ontario seemingly ignored the legitimate concerns raised by industry, including higher fuel prices.