The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and its member associations continue to work with governments across Canada to raise the bar for truck driver training by introducing mandatory entry level training (MELT) for truck drivers. As the Humboldt tragedy brought nation-wide attention to the issue of commercial driver training, the governments in Western Canada have now joined Ontario in taking leadership along with their partner provincial trucking associations.
“The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) would like to commend the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba for their recent acknowledgement of the importance of introducing mandatory entry level training for our sector,” said Scott Smith, chair of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. “As an industry, we have confidence our government partners in all provinces currently without mandatory entry level training will continue to work with CTA member provincial trucking associations to introduce similar requirements that raises the bar as it relates to commercial truck driver training.”
Late last week, Alberta Transport Minister Brian Mason said MELT would be a front burner issue for his department and his ministry is taking a “good hard look” at MELT. Yesterday, the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) – the province’s compulsory vehicle insurance program, which also operates the driver licensing and vehicle registration system – released a memorandum about MELT. Below is an exert from the SGI memo:
“Since July, 2017 SGI has been working with the Class 1 training schools and the Saskatchewan Trucking Association, to make improvements to Class 1 training in Saskatchewan. Driver Development was in the process of developing a standardized curriculum for all truck driver training schools and the requirement for a minimum 70 hours of training. In response to recent questions from the public, and support from industry and training schools – SGI in collaboration with the Saskatchewan government has decided to work towards mandatory Class 1 training in Saskatchewan with a commitment to have a plan in place by early 2019, with full implementation shortly thereafter.”
In the Province of Manitoba, Infrastructure Minister Schuler said his department along with Manitoba Education, Manitoba Public Insurance and the Manitoba Trucking Association will work together on MELT consultations.
“The Humboldt tragedy has reignited an important national discussion about MELT in our industry,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “Should other highway safety concerns emerge as a result of the collision investigation, our industry stands ready to work proactively with all levels of government to address these issues and find solutions.”