Fleets applaud Nova Scotia move on driver recruitment

by Abdul Latheef

HALIFAX, N.S. – Fleets are welcoming Nova Scotia’s decision to stop accepting transport truck driver (NOC 7511) applications under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP).

Nova Scotia Logo

The province announced the change recently. It is now urging carriers to use the Nova Scotia Nominee Program’s Occupations-in-Demand stream to bring in drivers from abroad.

“In the past year, we have received feedback from the trucking industry that this stream has proven to be successful in supporting their efforts to recruit and retain foreign national transport truck drivers. So, we made the change,” said Natalie Webster, communications director at Nova Scotia Immigration.

She said 189 NOC 7511 applications had been processed last year.

“We encourage employers in the trucking sector to utilize this unique stream, which is dedicated to transport truck drivers.”

Clarke Road Transport and other fleets say the decision will help retain drivers. (Photo: Clarke)

Driver retention

Carriers have welcomed the move, saying it will help with driver retention.

They say fleets like the Provincial Nominee Program better than the Atlantic Immigration Pilot because there is no retention with the AIPP.

They point out that under the AIPP, drivers get their PR a lot faster, and then decide to leave the province.

“The Occupations-in-Demand stream is helping us to retain TFWs (temporary foreign workers) for the long-term, and allow us to better assist them to settle permanently in Nova Scotia,” said Ryan Gray, recruitment manager at Clarke Road Transport, a division of Laidlaw Carriers Van.

Gray, however, stressed that Clarke still hires a lot of new drivers from within Canada.

“We don’t want people to get the impression that we don’t still try to hire Canadians. But even with hiring like 10 or 15 new graduates a year is not enough”.

Not enough because the demand for drivers, especially for longhaul truckers, in Nova Scotia remains pretty high.

Gray said Clarke has 20-25 applications in various stages of process.

“It is our hope that the sponsored individuals and their families grow stronger roots to the Halifax community, so that there is more of a reason to stay within our province.”

– Geoff Dowe, director of operations, GTL Transportation

Another Nova Scotia fleet actively hiring drivers is GTL Transportation.

“We are starting to use the OID in a continuing effort to help fulfill our current and future requirements for longhaul truck drivers,” said Geoff Dowe, director of operations at GTL.

“It is our hope, along with the government, that the sponsored individuals and their families grow stronger roots to the Halifax community, so that there is more of a reason to stay within our province,” he said.

AIPP being extended

The AIPP was launched in 2017 to meet rising labor shortages in a number of industries in the Atlantic provinces.

Since then, nearly 6,700 immigrants have become permanent residents through the program, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.


IRCC said in an email to Today’s Trucking that the AIPP is being extended by two years to December 2021.

“In addition, given the success of this flagship regional economic program, the government has committed to taking steps toward making the pilot permanent,” the federal agency said.

Have your say

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  • A study in spring of 2006 it said local truck should make 1.6 times minimum wage and O T R at 1.9 times minimum wage plus over time after 10 hours per day. I do not see many eastern trucking companies pay those pay rates . We have no shortage of truck drivers but will have if E-logs come into Canada with out a lot more parking and improved rest areas and truck stops. Truck drivers are not going to stay in a industry with E-logs without hourly pay for loading and unloading times at less than $27.00 plus medical coverage for O T R truck drivers. I see too many people in the homeless shelters that are truck drivers or Vets in Ontario Canada.

  • Its not lack of drivers companies want good drivers to work for next to nothing. So bring them in that eleviates the need to pay well. Thats the real reason.

  • Driver Retention??? Pay them a fair wage like every other province. Look at the difference I rates between ON, PQ, AB, compared to atlantic Canada. An east coast driver pays the same for meals and showers etc running over the road as and Ontario driver so why pay him 0.30€/mile less? NB is Irving run so that’s definitely gonna be a cheap province to work out of. I commend NS on this move why hire immigrants and canadian drivers sitting g at home??? I know why the Government pays part of there wages and the company gets tax breaks…

  • The implementation of elogs (automated recording of the various time limits) does not Include changes to those current limits. That is to say that if you’re afraid of the implementation of elogs you’re probably falsifying your paper-logs now.

  • As I have pointed out before. There cannot be a driver shortage problem with carriers complaining over low rates. Drivers should be worth a lot more than what they are getting paid on average. And if they were getting treated and paid better, they would be more inclined to stay with the carrier and location. But by allowing to import labor, owners and management plus customers will not be pushed to change business practices. 33 years otr. 20 as O/O. Permanent Resident in Alberta since 2002. Immigrated with Spouse . Qualified on points.
    Your sincerely.

  • The trucking industry should start to offer in house training for those who truly have a passion for this industry but cannot afford to pay for the training.

  • Pay more money & then you will get more people here in Canada interested in becoming a truck driver. It’s not a high paying career so the kids are taking other careers that pay better.

  • With great joy I listen and read every news about immigration programs to Canada. However, sadly, I have been trying to get a job offer for more than a year and to this day I have not succeeded. sad

  • All you need do is start paying better And start paying an over the road driver what he is really worth the days of getting driver to run for 40 cents a mile that was 20 years ago we have living expenses doubled not only because we’re on the road but we also have to have a house where we have to live 2 people seem to think that this is a glory job it’s not I’ve been in it for 46 years

  • Until the Nova Scotia government or any other government can demonstrate that there is a shortage of truck drivers in Nova Scotia or in any other part of Canada, all immigration programs (Provincial and federal) that accept truck driver applications should be abolished. The same idea should apply to all other occupations.

    There are still between 2 and 4 million Canadians without jobs because of COVID-19. At this time more than at any other, Canada needs a moratorium on all immigration until unemployment reaches zero.

    For details, see


  • Companies are not honest at all. Once on the road, expenses waiting time you have to fight for is unfair for the time on the road. 8 days or more on the road at an average of 1300$ do the math. A driver salary should be minimum 80000$ a year for long haul

  • Nothing like trying to control the free market. The Driver pool is saying something about what’s offered is not worth it. Instead of fixing the issues (whether it be pay, operational issues, equipment or customer related), these carriers would much rather keep their ways and exploit immigrants. Disgusting.

  • Ask yourselves why is it so difficult to recruit and retain truck drivers.
    A law degree in North American transportation would be an advantage.
    There are certainly no more harassed workers than truck drivers.
    Weigh stations every few miles where tickets can cost you a weeks wages.
    For what? It’s difficult enough to learn all the laws and regulations in your own province. Once you cross a provincial or state border the rules change. 48 contiguous states 10 provinces and 3 territories all have their own specific truck transport laws. You better know the laws in every single one of them or it gets very expensive. It won’t improve until trucking becomes a Federal responsibility.

  • ***********feedback from foreign truck driver *******
    There is a big gap between government and employers!
    Government creates immigration programs for employers. And first requirement is a job offer!
    But when you talk with trucking company recruiters through phone and already sent your resume with 5+ years of experience in USA as a long haul truck driver with 0 accidents. They are saying: “ if you would be in Canada we would get you” or “ if you have USA visa and Canada open world permit wi will get you”. Looks like Employers are not willing to do any immigration movements. And after that it is hard to believe that there is a truck driver shortage in Nova Scotia.

    • Derrick, I am a british trucker, but also driven in Europe too, also looking to settle in Nova Scotia. I’m looking for any company’s with Lmia. Have you secured a job, can you recommend any places hiring?

    • Derrick, have you found any company offering to do LMIAS for you, if you do have a lead, pass them on mate, thanks