The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is applauding Labour Minister Tassi and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) officials for launching a significant enforcement campaign to end the illegal practice of Driver Inc.
The ESDC pilot program has been launched in Ontario, where known violators of the labour misclassification scheme who operate within the underground economy will be inspected, audited and face regulatory and legal consequences of a variety of labour contraventions.
“Minister Tassi is showing strong leadership on this issue, which is threatening the livelihood and the very existence of legally responsible, compliant trucking companies and their employees,” said CTA Chair Jean-Claude Fortin. “We strongly believe the results of this enforcement campaign in Ontario will continue to demonstrate the scope of this growing problem in our industry and signal the need for nation-wide enforcement.”
By utilizing Ontario’s WSIB list of Driver Inc. violators, ESDC officials have launched similar enforcement efforts this spring throughout Ontario. Penalties for violations could include substantial back payments along with administrative monetary penalties, which ESDC now has the authority to levy on Driver Inc. employers.
Ontario Trucking Association Chair Wendell Erb is encouraged ESDC is underpinning enforcement efforts already underway in Ontario through the WSIB and thanked the department for committing to halting the practice of Driver Inc. and supporting the compliant majority of the trucking industry.
“Driver Inc. – which siphons tax dollars away from vital Canadian services and infrastructure and into the underground economy while circumventing important labour, safety and environmental rules – must end,” says Erb. “those who have been participating in this scheme need to feel the full force of the law. ESDC’s enforcement actions are applauded by all members of the industry who are tired of seeing these blatantly illegal activities going unpunished.”
OTA has been working with the Ontario WSIB since 2018 to combat Driver Inc.-related noncompliance, which has subsequently led to a multiyear provincial enforcement campaign and to date levied millions of dollars in fines to Driver Inc. carriers.
Both CTA and OTA expect the results of the ESDC pilot program in Ontario to lead to expansion of these enforcement activities into other provinces.
CTA is encouraging members who want a similar ESDC Driver Inc. pilot program in their province, to express such a request to their local ESDC office. The contact information for jurisdictional offices can be obtained by clicking here.
Ontario carriers are also encouraged to continue using the Ontario WSIB e-mail designated to highlight illegal Driver Inc. practices amongst the Ontario carrier community. All e-mails are confidential, and the Ontario WSIB will conduct its own merit-based analysis on all reported carriers before any form of enforcement action is taken.
“CTA commitment to bringing real consequences to Driver Inc. violators is unwavering. CTA will continue to work with ESDC and CRA at the national level, so compliant carriers can feel confident in investing in compliance and their employees without fear of being undermined by carriers engaged in the myriad of illegal activities the Driver Inc. model is built upon,” said CTA director, Policy, Jonathan Blackham.
For more on how Canada’s Labour Program is stiffening enforcement of Driver Inc. carriers by ramping up inspection of pay records, contract details, and workplaces, please see this exclusive Today’s Trucking article.