Driver shortage threatening Canada’s economic recovery: CTA

by Today's Trucking

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has told the feds that the shortage of professional drivers represents one of the biggest threats to Canada’s economic recovery.

Addressing the House Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities this week, CTA president Stephen Laskowski implored the feds to intervene.

“There is an old saying in our sector you may be familiar with, which goes back decades – if you got it a truck brought it,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “But, the truth is that during the pandemic – and even still today – there are people who didn’t ‘get’ what they need or when they needed it. It’s largely because we are short nearly 30,000 commercial truck drivers in Canada.”

Shielding drivers from leaving
(Photo: iStock)

Laskowski continued: “The truck driver has always been one of the most critical, but unsung, contributors, to our national economy. Without drivers, trucks sit idle. If we want to help solve the supply chain crisis and help address inflation, we must deal with the truck driver shortage.”

The CTA offered several ways the government could help alleviate the strain on the supply chain, namely improving access to immigration and training funding for drivers and cracking down on Driver Inc. fleets, which misclassify employee drivers as independent contractors.

“CTA’s approach is reasonable and involves common-sense solutions that require no new legislation or special treatment for our sector, but is rather an extension of current practices, access to programs, tools and funds provided other sectors,” added Geoff Wood, CTA’s senior vice-president of policy. “CTA stands ready to work collaboratively with the Government of Canada as our sector enters a very tenuous and critical time in its history.”

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  • That is the biggest lie of all time. The economy is banking on trucks that is another lie. Big trucking companies cutting freight rates below pandemic prices . So here is the problem the government has allowed drivers from foreign countries to come but the actual came as students didn’t finish their schooling knowing they came to truck got a license then address in the east or in the west and came to Ontario and flood the trucking now to many trucks for the freight.

    Maybe the people in the government and the media should talk to the real people that have been doing far more years then most of these people been in business or longer than the government officials that have been in their jobs.
    We need to get our own country figured out before we bring more in , most of the drivers did work for a company and now they are out on their own cutting rates to stay alive.

  • The C T A needs to treat sick and injured drivers better . Gov $ should not be used to train new drivers. Anyone bringing in a foreign driver should have to pay a $10,000 fee per driver and $5,000 for a mechanic
    We need a non-profit fund to to help pay insurance for new drivers for the first 2 years and work with landscaping ass and farm ass like the N F U to build a steady stream of new drivers that first get experience in a rural setting. If we bring in e logs a number of drivers using medical devices like oxygen concentration machines and C Paps will leave unless safe parking with electric plugs is provided and more flexible times for disabled truck drivers
    The U K got rid of driver Inc 2 yrs ago almost 5 % of the drivers left trucking
    Unless a plan is put in place to have these drivers keep the same net pay at the end of the yr some will quit which I understand is okay because we have too many cheap loads currently as there a 10 to 20% surplus in some lanes. No one or company should be given any gov $ for green trucks or training or allowed to bring in any foreign students as workers or for any job below $28 cd / hr unless a written plan is in place should they get sick or injured

  • You know what I would like to see, a dramatic reduction in the number of CTA ‘executives’ and their minions. This industry would be far better off without them, their lies, or their crying wolf about a non existent problem

    • Well said I have not seen one C T A staff member or director do anything to keep drivers in the industry when they get sick . The O T A is no better in my opinion. I and others run a non-profit organization to help disabled and sick injured drivers that often end up homeless. We asked for 11 paid sick days a year
      Proper medical care and transport for for sick or injured truck drivers and parking with 20 Amp plugs for those drivers that use medical equipment or C pap machines
      The C T A has not came back with a better solution or a 5 yr plan to keep truck drivers from leaving transport industry. The fed and ont gov needs to come with a plan to bring new drivers in and make sure we have a tiered wage like nursing to keep long-term term drivers in the industry. I see too many foreign students in trucks that scare me because of their lack of training and respect of the equipment.

  • First of all let’s realize the CTA does not represent drivers, they are paid for by transportation companies as a lobby group. Second of all there is no shortage of drivers, they have been singing this tune since the mid eighties and it is all lies.

    Drivers wages are currently about 30% below where they should be… want to keep and retain good drivers get the pay up and don’t assume that I should work a 14 hr day every day.

    • Well said the CTA just wants cheaper drivers they can control. Overtime hourly pay and safe parking and no company able to force a driver to work over 9 hours a day would reduce sick and injured drivers more than elogs. Health care workers have told that we need paid sick days and time to eat properly and treat medical conditions like trench foot and blood sugar issues.

    • Well said Paul Mullin. The CTA is not truck driver friendly and definitely do not represent Truck Drivers