TORONTO, Ont. – Saskatchewan is seeking financial help from the federal government to fund truck driver training, according to the Globe and Mail.
The newspaper reported this week that the province made the request in February, a month before its safety program for new Class 1 drivers took effect.
It said the two governments are reviewing options.
The mandatory entry-level training (MELT) program, unveiled in the wake of last year’s Humboldt Broncos tragedy, costs thousands of dollars, and the province says federal funding through student loans could ease the burden for prospective truckers.
Saskatchewan’s MELT program costs about $10,000 per student.
On Thursday, the Canadian Trucking Alliance praised Saskatchewan’s decision to seek help from Ottawa.
“When it comes to training dollars, CTA wants to see its prospective students given the same level of financial support as other sectors, and applauds the leadership shown by the Government of Saskatchewan in seeking this equity from Ottawa,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski.
“Once the new cabinet is appointed, CTA will be working with Ottawa to support Saskatchewan’s vision that equal training funding treatment is made available for truck drivers across Canada.”
The MELT program is at various stages of implementation nationwide.
In July, Canada’s premiers reaffirmed their commitment to adopting a minimum national entry-level training standard for truck drivers by 2021.