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COVID-19 Daily Bulletins: March 27

CTA Releases COVID-19 Border Resources Doc

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) has created another document with helpful information for carriers that move across the border. In addition to their COVID-19 tip-sheet and labour resources document, CTA has also compiled the Alliance’s latest updates regarding cross-border travel for carriers and truck drivers since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The cross-border document – CTA-Covid-19CrossBorderRealated_public – includes website resources from border agencies in both Canada and the U.S., clarification on policies regarding essential services, exemptions for cross-border truck drivers, insurance matters, operational and policy changes relating to FAST cards and border processing, amongst other relevant topics.

Carriers are also encourage to visit CTA’s COVID-19 page regularly for updates as new information becomes available.


 

Transport Canada, Provinces and Territories Introduce Potential Flexibility for TDG Training and Tank Inspections

In consultation with the provinces and territories, Transport Canada today announced potential relief options for drivers and carriers to extend training certificate and tank inspection renewal dates.

The measures which are optional in nature would allow for the extension of the validity of training certificates and specific tank inspections under CSA’s 620 regime until July 1, 2020, should training and tank certification be a challenge for industry during the COVID-19 crisis.

While extension options are being offered, they do come with a number of conditions. Carriers are encouraged to review the official notice from Transport Canada.  Full details can be found below:

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The options on the training certificates presented by Transport Canada line up with recent announcements by the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to not take enforcement action against expired training credentials. Click here for more info: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/phmsa-enforcement-policy-notice-regarding-training-requirements


 

Summary of MTO Service Accommodations Amid COVID-19 

Today OTA received full summary of the accommodations the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has made with respect to the Extension of the Validity of Driver, Vehicle and Carrier Products and Services. In addition to the summary, is a listing of key MTO contacts that carriers can address inquires to is included.  To view a copy of the correspondence received, please click here: Stakeholder Letter – COVID-19 Update_public


 

Manitoba Checkpoints to Inform Travellers about COVID-19

The Manitoba government will establish five highway checkpoints and provide information in airports to help inform travellers about the public health measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen and Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced today.

“We must do everything we can to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and on our health-care system,” said Cullen.  “This approach will help ensure travellers know they must self-isolate, what the province’s state of emergency means to them and other important public health information.  By being informed, we can reduce the risk to Manitobans and help keep our communities healthy and safe.”

Travellers will receive information about Manitoba’s current state of emergency, public health orders issued under The Public Health Act, and the need to immediately self-isolate for 14 days after travel in Canada or internationally.  If Manitobans need assistance with groceries, prescription pickup and other services, they are encouraged to go towww.HelpNextDoorMB.ca 

Cullen noted this kind of proactive measure to inform travellers and help slow the spread of COVID-19 is critical.

Checkpoints will be located at the:
•    Ontario border:
–  Trans-Canada Highway East (West Hawk Lake/Falcon Lake);
•    Saskatchewan border:
– Trans-Canada Highway West (west of Kirkella/Elkhorn/Virden);
– PTH 16 (west of Russell);
– PTH 5W (west of Roblin); and
– PTH 2 (west of Sinclair/Reston/Souris).

“We expect these checkpoints to be operational this week, staffed by provincial employees,” said Schuler.  “Drivers can expect to see roadside signage to help direct them to the checkpoints and support traffic safety.”

These checkpoints are established under the authority of The Public Health Act.  No one will be denied entry into Manitoba at these locations. 

Signage will also be placed at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport and the Brandon Municipal Airport to ensure people arriving on domestic flights have similar information.

The province continues to rely on the recommendations of the chief provincial public health officer and encourages all Manitobans to engage in good social distancing protocols including practising following the 3P’s – protect yourself, protect your loved ones and protect your community.  For more information, visit www.manitoba.ca/covid19.

Effective March 23, public health officials recommended anyone who returns from international or domestic travel should self-isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days following their return. This recommendation does not include:
•    the commercial transportation of goods;
•    workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
•    health care workers who travel to work from outside the province; and
•    normal personal travel in border communities including visits to a cottage.


 

Manitoba Employment Standards Exceptions & Spring Load Restrictions 

The Manitoba government is adding a temporary exception to employment standards regulations to give employers more time to recall employees laid off as a result of COVID-19, Finance Minister Scott Fielding announced today. “The sudden economic impacts of COVID-19 are significant and we are addressing concerns we’ve heard from both employers and the labour force in Manitoba as businesses are forced to close their doors and lay off employees,” said Fielding.  “This measure will provide flexibility to employers to recall employees once work picks up again after this difficult time period and avoid severing their employment.”

Under current employment standards legislation, employees who have been laid off for eight or more weeks in a 16-week period are deemed to have been terminated and are entitled to wages in lieu of notice.  After consulting and receiving the support of the Labour Management Review Committee, which includes representatives of both employers and labour organizations, the province is making temporary amendments that would ensure any period of layoff occurring after March 1, 2020, will not be counted toward the period after which a temporary layoff would become a permanent termination.

2020 Spring Road Restrictions (SRR) will be in effect starting on Friday, March 27 in Climate Zone 1A (Southern Manitoba).    Please be advised that 2020 SRR will start on Monday, March 30 in Climate Zone 1B (Swan River area). SRR will not start before Wednesday, April 1 in Climate Zone 2 (The Pas area), and Saturday, April 4 in Climate Zone 3 (Thompson and Northern areas).


 

BC Essential Services

As of March 26, 2020, the provincial government’s list of essential services includes the following services related to transportation, infrastructure and manufacturing:

  • supply chain services needed to supply goods for societal functioning, including cooling, storing, packaging, transportation, warehousing and distribution;
  • workers who support the maintenance and operation of cargo transportation services, including crews, maintenance, operations and other facilities workers;
  • manufacturers and distributors (to include service centres and related operations) of packaging materials, pallets, crates, containers and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations;
  • truck drivers who haul hazardous and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions, and municipal and provincial services;
  • local, regional, and provincial delivery services, including but not limited to businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to business and residences and mailing and shipping services;
  • services to support and enable transportation, including highway, road, bridge maintenance and repair;
  • employees who repair, maintain and overhaul vehicles, aircraft and parts, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers, as well as vehicle rentals and leasing;
  • services that facilitate the transportation of essential supplies, personnel and services, including port/waterfront operations, road, air and rail operations;
  • facilities supporting interprovincial and intra-provincial delivery of goods, including truck scales, commercial vehicle inspection stations, brokerages, truck towing and repair services, commercial cardlock fuel providers, truck and rest stops;
  • government-owned or leased buildings;
  • businesses that supply other essential businesses and people working from home with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
  • private transportation services, such as taxis, ride-hailing, helicopter, aircraft and marine vessels;
  • public transportation services under rules for physical distancing or other recommendations from the PHO;
  • workers supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chains, including workers at chemical manufacturing plants, workers in laboratories, workers at distribution facilities, workers who transport basic raw chemical materials to the producers of industrial and consumer goods and support the natural resource sector, as well as workers supporting safety at such facilities;
  • provision of public services that support the safe operation of regulated businesses and the provision of public services that support those businesses to meet other regulatory requirements;
  • workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations;
  • workers who support the inspection and maintenance for ongoing safety at industrial facilities;
  • inspectors who ensure worksites are safe and health for workers, and who investigate serious workplace accidents;
  • workers who process and manage claims made by injured workers, including services related to their care and treatment, as well as the provision of workers’ compensation benefits;
  • hotels and places of accommodation;
  • activities of the consuls general and staff who support the work of the consuls general;
  • landlords of buildings where the consulates are located and those who must guarantee access to consular offices as well as the operation of the consular offices;
  • storage for essential businesses;
  • businesses that provide materials and services for the operation, maintenance and safety of transportation systems (road, transit, rail, air and marine) including delivery of maintenance services, such as clearing snow, response to collisions and completing needed repairs to transportation systems;
  • businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g., primary metal/steel, blow moulding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc., that feed the end-product manufacturer);
  • vegetation management crews and traffic workers who support environmental remediation/monitoring and who respond to environmental emergencies;
  • businesses providing staffing services, including temporary labour services; and
  • businesses that support the safe operations of residences, essential businesses and facilities/buildings.

Municipal By-Law

Ministerial Order No. M084, Section 8(2), issued on March 26 suspends any municipal bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day (copied below for convenience).

Link to the Ministerial Order: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/mo/mo/2020_m084

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