TORONTO, Ont. – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has submitted a series of pre-budget recommendations to the federal government — including a call to crack down on a driver payment scheme thought to evade taxes.
The alliance has already been sounding the alarm about the practice it has dubbed Driver Inc., in which fleets have drivers incorporate themselves, avoiding source deductions in the process. Now it has asked the government to fund the Canada Revenue Agency to combat the spread of the model.
“We also know many carriers who are employing the Driver Inc. model are avoiding paying their workers’ compensation premiums and skirting their responsibilities under the Canada Labour Code,” a related position paper reads. “Considering trucking is the second largest federally regulated employment sector, only after the federal government itself, there is no doubt the government should be concerned with the potential enormity of this issue. If just 25% of the total driver population were to participate in the Driver Inc. model, we estimate this would represent at least $1.12 billion in tax and other revenue leakages.”
Also included in the submission is an ask for trade-focused infrastructure investments such as upgrading Hwy. 185 between Quebec and New Brunswick, twinning Hwy. 40 in Grande Prairie, Alta., and developing a strategy for “adequate and safe” truck parking along Canada’s national highways.
Other asks included a call to mandate electronic logging devices by Jan. 1, 2020; restoring federal excise tax rebates on certain GHG-reducing technologies; and expediting changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program to help deal with an intensifying driver shortage.
In the case of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, it wants the initial vetting process used to establish files that could then be used to fast-track submissions from “trusted employers” for subsequent Labour Market Impact Assessment applications and requests for work permit renewals.
“We believe this will speed up the processing times and support those employers who have good intentions in accessing the program,” the CTA says.