SPECIAL REPORT: HOS delays cause enforcement rift among provinces

OTTAWA — Varying hours-of-service implementation dates among the provinces could create an uneven playing field in more than one jurisdiction across Canada, truckers warn.

Despite assurances over the last year of a national roll-out date of the new HOS rule, only three provinces — Ontario, PEI, and Newfoundland — have so far enshrined provincial versions of the federal regulation and are to be ready to implement it on Jan. 1, 2007.

Carriers in those provinces — both federally-regulated and intraprovincial — will have to abide by the new rules on Jan. 1.

Furthermore, those carriers will have to comply with the new regulations even when operating in non-compliant provinces. Many are concerned this will create an two-tiered environment where carriers from provinces enforcing the new more restrictive rules will be disadvantaged compared to carriers domiciled in the other provinces.

Cracks in the HOS implementation process has led to some
provinces enforcing the rules while others won’t until later in ’07

According to a communiqué issued to stakeholders by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, all federally regulated carriers and drivers will be required to comply with the new regulations as of the first day of January, but that presents some enforcement challenges.

In jurisdictions that haven’t yet adopted the new rule, the statutes won’t exist to lay charges under the new rules.

In cases of severe violations, enforcement action consisting of warnings up to and including out-of-service declarations will be taken at roadside and during facility audits to ensure road safety, CCMTA indicated.

But in the other seven provinces where the start of the new rule is delayed until March or April (see list of implementation dates at bottom of the page), actual enforcement might not begin until July 1.

There will be a period of soft or educational enforcement lasting until June 30 where carriers and drivers stopped at roadside will be provided with feedback and the required information to help understand and comply with the new regulations.

Various jurisdictions will gain enforcement power as they implement the rules, but probably can only enforce the old rules — or write warnings under the new rules, a source tells Today’s Trucking.

The list of provinces’ targeted implementation dates of the new rule are as follows:

BC — March 1, 2007

AB — TBD, provincial consultations under way

SK — April 1, 2007

MB — March 1, 2007

ON — January 1, 2007

QC — March 1, 2007

NB — March 1, 2007

NS — February 1, 2007

PE — January 1, 2007

NL — January 1, 2007

NT — April 1, 2007

YT — February 1, 2007

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