CTA continues call for truck driver immigration program

OTTAWA, Ont. – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) continues its push for a trucking-focused immigration program to help offset a shortage of truck drivers.

Speaking yesterday before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, CTA president Stephen Laskowski included the call among requests to crack down on truck drivers misclassified as independent contractors, modernize cross-border processing systems, and use future carbon tax revenue to promote the purchase of green vehicle technology.

Canada’s largest trucking association says the misclassification of drivers – under a business model that has come to be known as Driver Inc. – costs the national economy more than $1 billion a year in unpaid deductions.

The goal of a trucking-focused immigration initiative, meanwhile, would be to allow pre-qualified companies to recruit foreign truck drivers more quickly and with a lower administrative burden.

“The trucking industry is suffering from an all-year acute driver shortage which is expected to reach a supply deficit of nearly 34,000 truck drivers by 2024,” the alliance says in its submission. But Canada recruits a mere 1,500 truck drivers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in any given year.

“In absolute terms, this number is quite small and represents under 0.5% of the total truck driver population in Canada,” it adds. “With tens of thousands of drivers expected to retire over the next decade, this is but a drop in the bucket. The simple truth is the trucking industry is nearing a crisis point when it comes to meeting the demands for labor in our sector. When this point is reached, it will no longer be just a trucking issue — but an issue for the entire economy.”

The alliance also asked for Employment and Social Development Canada to review the funding model for occupations like truck drivers, so small trucking-related businesses can access the training dollars enjoyed in other sectors.

They weren’t the only items in the submission. Laskowski also called for the government to “prioritize” the introduction of electronic logging devices, delay trailer-focused GHG regulations until the U.S. decides how to proceed with a similar rule, and harmonize border data systems to help restore in-transit shipments.

The full submission is available at ontruck.org/…/Canadas-Impact-Regulatory-Structure_public.pdf

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • If you want to be exploited then by all means join the transportation industry and become a truck driver . Payroll minimum wage should be $45 an hour according to indexed inflation since 1980 . Paid by the mile is a scam and most don’t even pay according to the odometer ! Truck stops are over crowded at night ,good luck trying to find a parking spot to sleep .

    Truck drivers risk their lives driving on roads crammed with 4 wheelers who do not know how to drive ! Don’t believe me , just look at the 401 as an example especially in winter , always , always numerous car pile ups in accidents ,ALWAYS ! The moment snow hits the ground , GOOD LUCK ! And that’s aside from those 4 wheeler mentalities who manage to obtain a class 1/AZ license , OMG !

    MTO is a joke ! If it were structured fairly then there would be a truck driver representative at all scales to ensure truck drivers are treated fairly at all times .

    I could go on and on but what’s the point ? They’re going to keep on trying to make you believe what they want you to believe . It’s a fairytale industry and you’ll feel like you’re in Disneyland , YEAH RIGHT !

    Think about it for a second . A truck driver is limited in HOS supposedly for safety reasons . But you can driver your car for 48 hours + non stop without getting any sleep ! Your car engine is not governed with a speed limiter and you aren’t obliged to have Diesel Exhaust Fluid that keeps causing engine problems etc!

    Highways were not built for trucks ! They are built for automobiles ! Trucks are not built for safety ! The driver sits above a fuel tank ! And that’s just one tiny iddy biddy example concerning ignorant designing !

    Road lighting in some areas is non existing !!! But now vehicles have halogen lights that blind you when coming in the opposite direction when it’s dark outside !

    In those same unlighted dark areas at night they have moose signs warning you to be vigilant due to potential moose crossings ??? How are you suppose to see them ???

    As a truck driver you will be fighting with four wheelers to switch lanes ! Four wheelers will not heed to slow traffic signs indicating that they should remain in the right lane if they want to drive slow . They will crawl in the middle lane on three way lanes , thus preventing the truck driver from passing !

    As a truck driver you will always be cut off in traffic ! The gap that you will leave between yourself and the vehicle in front of you will not last due to some four wheeler wanting to be a car ahead ! They don’t know that you’re keeping that space to lay off your brakes due to having air brakes !

    Yes by all means , come join the trucking industry as a driver . You’ll be disrespected , exploited , always in danger , frustrated , stressed , hated , not understood , rarely rested , lied to , cheated ,and intimidated !

    Driving rigs used to be fun , but not anymore ! And they want to replace drivers with autonomous trucks ! There is no longer a future as a truck driver . Don’t waste your time . Get a good education and do something where you will enjoy yourself and be respected rather than exploited …………

    10-4 !

  • There are a lot of drivers. Companies want cheap drivers. Immigrants are powerless, ready to work to get immigration documents, and immediately retire. They are afraid to complain, because they only want to immigrate. Therefore, companies want to have as many immigrants as possible, since immigrants agree to a minimum wage. This is very convenient: companies get slaves who agree to work for the minimum that they pay today, and this allows not to increase the salaries of all other drivers. For ten years, the salaries of drivers increased by 10%, while in other industries by 46% !!! Nobody wants to work as truck drivers because companies don’t want to pay. There are no laws protecting drivers. Drivers receive salaries not for the time spent on work, but for the number of miles. These rules are almost 100 years old !!! Companies want immigrants because they want to continue working as they have been working for a hundred years. But the majority of immigrants, having received documents, leave this industry, because it is not profitable to work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, sleep in a truck, work on holidays and weekends, and receive a check at a bank of $ 3,500 a month. Of course, they need cheap slaves – immigrants, because Canadians do not agree to such salaries!

  • Independent contractors without their trucks are very disadvantageous to large companies, because companies cannot compete with such high salaries as independent contractors. Companies think that if drivers without trucks are banned from taking shape as independent contractors, these drivers will immediately run to work in large companies for a salary not a third less than they had before. This will not happen. Most simply agree with the companies about fake rental trucks, and the rest will leave this business altogether. And immigrants are needed as cheap, powerless labor. They agree to any conditions, only to immigrate. Therefore, do not complain about the arbitrariness of employers.

    • You are right they want to bring cheaper foreign truck drivers because other jobs in Canada pay better than driving a truck today. A O.T.R. truck driver with 2 years experience needs to get $30.00 CD per hour on payroll ( or $38.00 to Corp) plus medical if going in to the U.S. Local truck drivers need to make at least $24.00 per hour on payroll or $29.00 to Corp plus GST. I was at a recruiting event only 5 companies out of the 100 that we’re the we’re paying $30.00 plus per hour. Most the people there said too many trucks driving down the rates so could not pay those rates. No company should be able to bring in more than 5 drivers and or other jobs in a 24 month period of time. They should have provide free housing for the first 2 years for the drivers and families as well as pay at least $24.00 per hour plus overtime and medical insurance. 226 889 9299

  • There is no driver shortage. There is a shortage of good companies to work for. The industry of full of lies and deceit.

  • Brilliant. There’s not enough carnage on Canadian highways already so let’s import more unqualified underpaid scabs…Sobeys has groceries, Walmart has crap and Petro Canada has fuel. Where are the MT shelves, where is the driver shortage? Just because you have a surplus of equipment doesn’t mean there is a shortage. Maybe fleets own too much equipment and need to reduce their equipment numbers…

  • LOL ! Truck driver shortage ??? WHERE ??? And you want to bring in more immigrants to fill the supposed shortage ??? LOL !

    Manitoba Public Insurance can’t even keep up with the truck drivers they have !!!

    Quote :

    ” MPI backlog frustrates truckers waiting for road tests”
    The backlog at Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) continues to be a source of frustration for local drivers of all types, but especially so for the trucking industry.

    A transport supervisor at a local excavation business told 680 CJOB the inability to have his drivers take a road test for their Class 1 licences puts his company in a difficult position.

    Elite Excavating’s Justin Burla said he has two drivers ready to take their Class 1 tests – having completed extensive, supervised in-car training – but MPI is so swamped there’s no room to book the road tests.
    “They only book 60 days in advance, so that means every single appointment in Manitoba is booked solid for the next 60 days,” said Burla.

    Burla said taking a road test outside of Winnipeg means there will be potentially less of a backlog, but it’s not financially feasible for his company.

    He said he estimates a trip to be tested in Dauphin, for example, would cost over $2,000 all-told – $500 in fuel, $600 in wages, and at least $1,000 lost profit on the truck being unavailable for the day.
    “That’s a pretty big expense to take on for somebody who could’ve gone for a road test in Winnipeg,” said Burla.

    MPI has been under fire for most of the last month due to its call centre being overwhelmed with calls – five times greater than last year’s total over the same period – as well as a higher-than-expected number of out-of-province drivers coming to Manitoba to take advantage of trucking jobs.”


    YEAH ! Bring in more immigrants for truck driver positions and don’t forget to send them to Manitoba , LOL ! The CTA is now becoming a Manitoba “government burden” ! Nice going !

  • You are right no company should be able to have more 4 truck drivers from another country on payroll. I know many trucks drivers who worked cheap for 2 years to get their P R paperwork in place. Require all companies bringing in O.T.R truck drivers to pay at least $30.00 CD with medical insurance and overtime after 10 hours per day and $45.00 on a stat holiday The truck can get bad record when doing what dispatch tells him to do
    We need a union or trade ass and any company with more than 5 truck drivers must pay the trade rate by the hour. At a recent job event one company was paying 32.00 CD per hour and approx $37.00 in the U.S. Truck drivers were lined to take a job with them. Some the membership of the C.T.A knows that many trucks drivers are the homeless shelter system and still want to bring in cheap foreign truck drivers.

  • OTA, CTA and our Federal Government are taking the path of least resistance, in bringing Professional Drivers from the other side of the World. This has been their solution for the past 25 years.
    The only reason will not focus on upgrading existing underemployed Canadians (who may less than $30,000 per year) is a lack of imagination and and effort. Go to a Tim’s or Walmart and ask a worker if they would like to earn $60,000 to $90,000 instead of $28,000. We will sit $230,000 tractors for weeks because of lack of drivers, then go to other side of the World to find them, then pay to get them here and then pay the onboarding costs of having them here.
    Why don’t we put the same effort into helping underemployed people to have an option for a new and rewarding career?