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OTA implores government to include truck drivers in nominee pilot program

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is asking the provincial government to remember truck drivers as it reviews its stance on how it classifies certain occupations under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

Historically, Ontario has restricted the use of the OINP – which allows workers to be brought in with permanent resident status – to occupations classified in NOC skill level A, B and 0.

With truck drivers being classified as NOC ‘C’, the Ontario trucking industry has had very limited access to this program since it was founded. However, the government has launched a limited trial pilot being conducted with a few select NOC ‘C’ occupations in the construction and agriculture sectors.

The Ontario Trucking Association has written to Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Laura Albanese, asking whether trucking could also be eventually considered since it is currently experiencing an acute driver shortage.

Since the next opportunity to change this classification does not arise until 2021, the OTA said  it is asking the government to include truck drivers as part of the ‘In-Demand Skills’ stream pilot of the OINP.

“While the industry remains committed to our longer-term goal of moving from NOC C to B, access to the OINP could play an important role for some Ontario carriers to bridge their current labour shortage,” said OTA Jonathan Blackham, director of policy and public affairs.

OTA emphasized how trucking is grappling with a shortage of professional workers unparalleled by most industries.

“Unlike other industries, such as manufacturing, truck driving is an occupation that cannot be offshored or shipped overseas. Overall, demand for trucking remains strong, with the industry’s share of the total transportation sector only growing. As well, with one of the oldest workforces in the country, the trucking industry is facing a ‘demographic tsunami,’” the letter points out.

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7 Comments » for OTA implores government to include truck drivers in nominee pilot program
  1. Paul Bauman says:

    Really!!Pay drivers a decent wage and the “shortage”will disappear.

  2. Michael Gower says:

    Maybe if fleets downsized by 10% they wouldn’t have empty trucks sitting. Funny how private fleets don’t have a driver shortage. Do you think remuneration and quality if life have anything to do with that.

  3. Trish B. says:

    So we currently have a driver shortage, better pay n benefits would help.
    We also have a huge problem in Ontario with a language barrier with all the immigrant drivers we have now & they have shut down the driver school mills…point being are these part of the reasons we have for the major accidents on our highways? Now add migrant workers to the equation n I see a recipe for disaster. Unfamiliar roads, language, culture, rules of the road & weather just a few off the top of my head. I don’t begrudge anyone trying to earn a living but lets be realistic sticking them in an big rig isn’t the smartest choice by the OTA.

  4. D Cardinal says:

    Modern day slavery.

    Many shoddy companies import drivers from other countries and pay them lesser wages. So maybe instead of the OTA looking at ways to make it easier for immigrants to enter the trucking industry, look at making sure they are paid a fair wage first and stop undercutting more ‘legitimate’ outfits.

    Poorly paid drivers means unsafe highways. That is a fact that was often ignored by former OTA president, David Bradley.

    So please tell me, why I had an African driver who was paid 200$ a week as a living wage… And he was brainwashed that he was underpaid because he was ‘sponsored’?

    Or the many companies who say it’s cheaper to import labour than attracting ‘local’ talent? That is indeed, modern day slavery. And you can thank the OTA and CTA for turning a blind eye to this ugly fact.

    Not all trucking companies are guilty. I can think of one Saskatoon based company who did import someone and he was paid relatively well, albeit he said he was still paid less than what he was promised.

  5. Cynthia says:

    Here we go…..
    Where to start…
    Driver shortage? No
    SKILLED driver shortage? Yes
    Properly TRAINED driver shortage? Yes
    STOP targeting the truck drivers…. target the mega carriers and government programs that allow this to happen. Fact is the guy coming here from another country is prohably a great driver in thier country. To that countries standards and large truck size. He is happy to work here not knowing the key aspects of OUR trucking industry. Theres zero integration training.
    These companies that pay shit and figured they have done due dilligence by putting them in a truck is the 2nd largest issue in trucking as i see it. The first being the lack of gvt assisted integration of these new folks. Look at the language barrier as a prime example…. cant read or write let alone comprehend a street sign fast enough to make the accurate driving modification. Result for example…. low bridge impact. Is it really the drivers fault? No. He is doing what he loves….. driving truck, as he was taught to drive. Never modified to fit the new model of driver as he switched countries.
    Its become so common place that many drivers are being forced to adapt to this way of driving simply to co-exist.
    There is zero protection in place for the professional driver. This needs to change.
    The companies willing to hire at below scab wages are the ones to target. There is NO DRIVER SHORTAGE. ASK THE DRIVERS.

    • Angella Kelly says:

      Is it that these drivers do not get training for a Class 1A license? Also how about those other occupation having to do with the public safety? Are they looked on like drivers? These are nurses and certain other medical professions. No one seem to be objecting at those.

  6. Jim Burns says:

    I have to question this acute driver shortage logic. I understand supply and demand. When you have a shortage of something the price goes up. Why has this not happened in the trucking industry? Answer. Greed trumps safety. There is an endless supply of drivers from overseas that will continue to be tapped. These poorly trained drivers will continue to flood the market working for the supposedly best managed companies in the country. Paying these poorly trained drivers by the mile to sit in the middle lane all day running on the speed limiter max is insane. There is no driver shortage just a shortage of money to keep the current drivers interested in staying in the business. The OTA is a mouthpiece for big business and nothing more. Where is the study on the number of truck accidents since the implementation of imported poorly paid and poorly trained foreign labour? I don’t blame these guys for wanting a better life. That makes perfect sense to me. What is lacking is a concern for public safety. End pay by the mile. Pay by the hour at a rate that reflects the knowledge and talent that is required to safely operate heavy equipment. The supposed shortage will disappear.

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