OTTAWA, Ont. – Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau says the Government of Canada is actively working on a policy to address marijuana impairment in the workplace.
The minister sent a letter to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), the Railway Association of Canada, and the Canadian Urban Transit Association in response to concerns the three groups have been raising about use of the drug by those in safety sensitive positions.
Although an official date has yet to be announced by the government, cannabis is set to be legalized nation-wide this summer.
Garneau said policy analysis will look at the scope of the problem, considering how often transportation workers are impaired while on the job, and the impact of the impairment.
Any analysis will also consider the approaches of other countries to impairment, privacy issues, human rights issues that may be raised by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and occupational health and safety standards.
Any solutions will also take into account the capacity of the transportation sector to absorb potential costs.
“…discussions will include the need, design, and depth of a comprehensive substance abuse program,” said Garneau.
The CTA says its goal throughout the discussions is to ensure commercial drivers remain the safest operators on public roads.
“This is a complicated issue involving multiple departments and legal matters. The policy direction outlined by the minister is sound and CTA looks forward to working with Transport Canada to ensure that our industry’s concerns are taken into consideration,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski. “CTA’s goal is to see the eventual introduction of mandatory drug and alcohol testing for commercial truck drivers in Canada.”
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