Ontario legislation to improve washroom access for drivers

by Today's Trucking

Truck drivers and delivery workers often find it difficult to access washrooms while they work long hours on the road.

The Ontario government intends to introduce legislation that would, if passed, allow delivery workers access to company washrooms at businesses where they are delivering or picking up items, according to a news release.

Picture of a truck at a loading dock.
Truck drivers are often denied use of a washroom at businesses they serve, consultations found. (Photo: iStock)

Consultations conducted by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee have indicated that truck drivers, couriers, and people who deliver food, including those for online delivery platform companies such as SkipTheDishes, are often denied use of a washroom at businesses they serve.

Details were shared Wednesday by Monte McNaughton, minister of labor, training and skills development.

“This is something most people in Ontario take for granted but access to washrooms is a matter of common decency currently being denied to hundreds of thousands of workers in this province,” McNaughton said.

“Workers who deliver and pick up goods have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, ensuring that essential supplies continue to reach the people of Ontario. Providing these hardworking men and women with access to washrooms is a small change that will make a big difference, so they can do their jobs with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) praised the announcement.

“The OTA is extremely thankful to Mr. McNaughton and the Ford government for recognizing our drivers as the true heroes they are and encouraging everyone in the supply chain to do their part in treating drivers with respect. The minister saw a problem and implemented a solution that will no doubt serve as a model for other jurisdictions across North America,” OTA president and CEO Stephen Laskowski said in a news release.

The announcement comes at a critical time for the trucking industry, which is experiencing an acute driver shortage. Trucking companies – and truck drivers in particular – are already facing immense supply chain pressures during the pandemic. As a result of this capacity crunch, any shippers who continuously disrespect truck drivers risk being deselected as customers.    

 “Our province’s truck drivers deserve our respect, our support, our thanks and our best efforts to help them do their jobs so Ontarians can put food on our tables and have access to the goods we need,” said Laskowski. “We are encouraged this announcement will give truck drivers access to the necessary facilities wherever they may be working.”  

The announcement is part of the government’s broader efforts to protect and support vulnerable workers, such as those who have kept essential goods moving and the economy going through the pandemic.

The OTA will be reviewing this new legislation and will provide details to members on what drivers can expect from customers once it’s implemented.

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  • This is a great opportunity! but one flaw that is that on the QEW after 10 pm at night there is no places to stop or even a place to get a coffee do to Tim Hortons cut of hours and parking or a place to stop. If you travel north of Guelph or London or North of the 400 hwys or not on them there is no place to stop. That should change.

  • Restrooms should be made available to drivers as a human right. That being said, drivers need to be respectful using those facilities! I have seen the aftermath of some drivers destroying Restrooms.

    I am not sure why some drivers bring water bottles to the Restrooms, maybe for an enima?
    You need to not leave your disgusting enima water bottles behind, take them with you or dispose of them properly.
    Respect is a two way street!

  • Thank you to the PC government for standing up for us. It’s about time that the customers we serve are informed that we are the human element that delivers their goods and should be given access to their facilities just like their employees are.

  • Now Shippers will start bringing potable plastic shit for drivers because drivers are a different category humans . It’s should be written that there should be same facilities for everyone standing on property to use washrooms not that gutter stinky plastic shit