TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has helped convince the province of Ontario to exempt drivers for federally-regulated carriers from its strict Smoke Free Ontario Act.
The Act, which comes into effect today, bans smoking in public places including work vehicles. Carriers that leave Ontario to operate in other jurisdictions fall under federal regulations and those drivers will now be exempt from the rule.
Confirmation came late yesterday afternoon when OTA staff spoke with Ministry of Health Prevention officials, the association says. Provincially-regulated carriers will have to adhere to the new rules, however, banning smoking in their vehicles.
“Our concern was over provincial incursion into an area of federal law and what precedent that might set in other statutes in future,” said OTA president, David Bradley. “We are very pleased that we were able to work with the government on this issue and come to an understanding on how the law affects a major segment of the industry.”
Fines for Ontario carriers that allow smoking in their vehicles can reach as high as $10,000, the OTA reports. Meanwhile, federally-regulated carriers must still adhere to the federal Non-smoker’s Health Act which can be viewed at http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/N-23.6/index.html
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