Regulatory Sandbox on Electronic Shipping Documents for Dangerous Goods Project

- by Christina Hryniuk

Transport Canada is launching a regulatory sandbox on electronic shipping documents. This project will allow them to test the use of electronic shipping documents for dangerous goods shipments in a safe way. As the transportation sector evolves, Transport Canada is looking at ways regulations can be updated to help keep Canada competitive and encourage innovation, while keeping Canadians safe.

Transport Canada will use the sandbox to evaluate whether electronic shipping documents can help reach the same or a better level of safety as paper documents, and if so, under what conditions.

The project will look at using electronic shipping documents across four modes of transportation: air, marine, rail, and road. They will also look at both rural and urban environments, including areas with limited or no internet or cell coverage.

The success of this project depends on stakeholders participating and contributing. Transport Canada is looking for shippers, carriers, first responders, enforcement personnel, and other government agencies to participate in this project.

How to participate

You can participate by:

  • Applying for an equivalency certificate.
  • Submitting feedback or completing questionnaires

Applying for equivalency certificate

You can apply for an equivalency certificate if you are a Canadian consignor or carrier that transports dangerous goods in Canada, and you can:

  • Communicate shipping document information to first responders, inspectors, and CANUTEC within five minutes
  • Provide a point of contact who can provide shipping document information when the dangerous goods are being transported
  • Register with CANUTEC
  • For road vehicles, display a sign advising that electronic shipping documents are being used. These signs will be provided by Transport Canada and must be displayed on a driver's door and at least two sides of the means of containment.
  • Send Transport Canada a report every six months that describes any incidents.
  • Give Transport Canada information related to your use of electronic shipping documents. This could include the impacts or benefits on operational activities, training, equipment, and administrative activities.
  • Send Transport Canada your feedback throughout the two-year study.
  • participate in emergency response simulations during the study (not everyone will be asked to participate)

To apply, you will need to register an account in with an approvals application website and contact Transport Canada for an application form. If you have already applied for an equivalency certificate, you won't need to re-register.

If your application is approved, you will be issued an equivalency certificate that gives you permission to use electronic shipping documents from spring 2020 until spring 2022. Simulations and engagement activities will also take place during this time.

Participating in this project is voluntary, so you will not be compensated for participating.

For more information, click here.


Terry Shaw Speaks with Trucking News: Opinions mixed on increased biodiesel content in Manitoba fuel supply

- by Christina Hryniuk

alternative fuelsThe story below was written by Derek Clouthier from Truck News.

WINNIPEG, Man. – Manitoba’s announcement that it will increase the content of biodiesel in its fuel supply from 2% to 5% has been met with varying reactions from those in the trucking industry.

From the onset, the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) has opposed the move, not because it is against reducing the industry’s carbon footprint, it said, but because its members have experienced challenges with biodiesel blends, and they have expressed greater interest in alternative efforts, such as electrification.

“For a clean hydroelectric province like Manitoba, this is clearly the best option,” MTA executive director Terry Shaw said of moving toward electric vehicles, “so we are hopeful our government partners will change course on this recent announcement.”

Thomas Payne, president of Payne Transportation, is also against the increase in biodiesel to 5%, saying it simply is not good fuel for the province’s climate.

“It has a negative impact on performance and our guys will stay clear of it,” Payne said. “We can expect them to fuel more in North Dakota.”

Payne said his drivers, which are made up primarily of owner-operators, already use several additives to ensure the current 2% biodiesel mixture performs in cold-weather conditions, which is likely to increase with a higher percentage.

Payne also said he feels this increase is not the answer for Manitoba’s canola farmers – canola being a plant-based source of biodiesel.

“Our industry continues to get unproven technology forced on us with alarming consequences,” he said.

As Shaw pointed out to, biodiesel is not present in the fuel supply in Northern Manitoba due to cold weather, where it can gel. As well, it is not used during certain months in the southern part of the province either, meaning for the province to achieve an annual average of 2% biofuel, MTA members have already seen 5% biodiesel content when fueling up. And, in order to now reach a 5% annual average, Shaw said fleets will see anywhere from 0% to an estimated 10% biodiesel content in fuel, which raises a red flag.

“Manitoba’s recent announcement on increasing the provincial fuel mandate was very specific to biodiesel, not biofuels,” said Shaw, “which, based on operability concerns, is problematic.”

The MTA has identified a set of criteria alternative fuels must meet for the association to show its support. The alternative fuel must provide energy equal to or greater than diesel fuel, cost the same as or less than diesel, provide tangible environmental benefits compared to diesel, and meet Canadian standards, be acceptable to the engine OEMs, and not negatively impact operability.

The MTA says biodiesel does not meet these criteria.

Shaw also said that with OEMs concerned with the increasing biodiesel percentages in fuel, the province, to meet its goal of reducing tailpipe emissions, could turn to increased renewable diesel – which comes from hydrotreated vegetable oil and can be used in higher concentrations than biodiesel, and even as a standalone fuel source.

“We understand that the renewable diesel currently being utilized in Manitoba comes from Singapore and The Netherlands,” said Shaw. “Creating and transporting a product literally halfway around the globe in an effort to reduce GHG is something our members have long questioned.”

Bison Transport, one of Canada’s largest fleets and based in Manitoba, uses equipment from an OEM that recognizes and supports the use of biodiesel up to a 5% mixture.

“There are several watch outs with biodiesel as concentrations increase,” said Mike Gomes, vice-president of maintenance with Bison, “but at this level, we expect there will be no noticeable difference in performance, provided the products meet or exceed standards, such as ASTM D975 or CAN/GCSB-3.520.”

Gomes said Bison will monitor truck performance with the increased percentage of biodiesel, and that one way to ensure peak performance is to purchase fuel at a reputable supplier.

Bison also uses additives in their fuel to avoid biodiesel mixtures from gelling or forming crystals, which it can do in cold weather conditions.

“With the nature of our operation, we must purchase some fuel in southern states during the winter season, and when the temperature dips to extremes, we do utilize additives in our tractors and temperature-controlled trailers to provide protection from gelling in these scenarios,” said Gomes. “Again, we source only high-quality products that provide the proper level of protection without adverse effects on the performance of the equipment.”

Bison does not expect its costs to increase with the use of B5 (5% biodiesel mixture) diesel, nor does it believe truck performance will be negatively impacted.

Much of that confidence comes from the carrier’s continued investment into technology and driver training program, all in an effort to effectively manage fuel performance.

“This includes aerodynamic technology on both the tractor and trailers and idle reduction technology to support driver comfort while limiting the need to idle,” said Gomes. “We train our operators on driving strategy to improve economy and utilize scorecards as a coaching tool to encourage top performance. We view this change as a positive in the overall strategy to reduce GHG emissions and will continue to provide feedback to the industry and regulators through associations, such as the MTA.”

Alternatives to increasing biodiesel content in fuel to reduce GHG emissions the MTA have advocated for include incentive programs for the use of technology, regulatory reforms, such as approving the use of single wide-base tires, and electric vehicle pilot projects.
Biodiesel Manitoba

Other western provinces

Biodiesel percentages fluctuate across Western Canada, with Saskatchewan providing a 2% blend year-round, while B.C. strives for a minimum B4 blend, less in northern regions where it can cause issues.

In Alberta, biodiesel is not to exceed 5%, and between Sept. 30 and April 1, the province reverts back to straight ultra-low Sulphur fuel to avoid gelling or the formation of crystals in the fuel during cold weather.

The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) pointed out that a report published by the Alberta Renewable Diesel Demonstration concluded that “B2 blends of canola methyl ester and 2% blends of hydrogenation derived from renewable diesel are fully operable in winter conditions in the study area when cloud points are adjusted to meet CAN/CGSB requirements,” with B5 blends being used during warmer months.

As part of its Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, the provincial government also upped the ethanol content in gasoline from 8.5% to 10%.

“Manitobans deserve respect for our green agenda, our historic and significant investments in clean, green renewable energy,” said Manitoba premier Brian Pallister during the Jan. 21 announcement. “Our plan puts a price on carbon that is low and level, like the Prairies, and keeps more money in the pockets of Manitobans while getting the same amount of emissions reductions as the rising federal carbon tax. Our Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan is better for the economy, better for the environment and better for Manitoban families.”

The MTA encourages all of its members and nonmembers to participate in a free webinar on Feb. 26. The webinar is put on by SmartWay, a program geared to helping companies reduce their GHG emissions, become more competitive, boost productivity, and encourages best practices in freight supply chains. For more information and sign up click here.


​Globe & Mail Highlights Need for Oversight Review of Trucking Industry

- by Christina Hryniuk

(Feb. 3, 2020) -- The Globe & Mail this weekend highlighted longstanding industry concerns over the need to improve focused enforcement oversight in the trucking sector across Canada; with specific emphasis on carriers who show a significant need for enforcement attention.

The Globe & Mail article stated that a number of commercial carriers in British Columbia had an “unsatisfactory-unaudited” safety rating as of Dec. 31, 2019, yet these carriers have yet to receive the mandatory audit required.

“The Canadian Trucking Alliance believes the article underscored a well-known need our organization has been drawing attention to, nationally – that in order to maximize limited enforcement resources, all provincial transportation authorities should focus enforcement strategies on carriers and drivers who exhibit systemic behaviour of safety non-compliance,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “CTA has been working with our industry since last year to develop a series of national policies and recommendations designed to improve the focused enforcement oversight of new carriers entering the marketplace as well as high-risk drivers and companies already operating in the sector throughout all jurisdictions.”

CTA plans to finalize these focused enforcement recommendations this year and share them with federal and all provincial regulators ahead of discussions on their potential implementation.

Following the Humboldt tragedy, CTA issued a Ten Point Action Plan to improve truck safety nationally. One of those recommendations included the development of a more proactive enforcement regime to deal with drivers and carriers who consistently display a troubling pattern of non-compliance.

“Transport Canada and the provincial and territorial regulators at the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, have shown a strong commitment to continually improve national commercial vehicle road safety. CTA believes our recommendations to improve oversight in the trucking sector could help form the potential basis of a national industry-government focus group designed to review targeted oversight in our sector,” said Laskowski.

Added Dave Earle, president of the BC Trucking Association: “BCTA has an ongoing dialogue with the BC Ministry of Transportation regarding the need to ensure that enforcement is focused to those carriers which have demonstrated a need for improvement. Any carrier in B.C. whose National Safety Code profile is determined to be unsatisfactory should be audited as soon as it’s feasible to do so.”

To read the entire G&M article please click here.


Trucking association questions Pallister’s new gasoline regulations for Manitoba - CJOB and Global News Winnipeg

- by Christina Hryniuk

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister talks to reporters in Brandon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

New gasoline regulations in Manitoba will be equal to taking 100,000 cars off the road, according to an announcement by the province Tuesday.Premier Brian Pallister said the ethanol content requirement of gasoline will increase to 10 per cent from 8.5 per cent and the biodiesel content of diesel will increase to five per cent from two per cen

“We have the cleanest electricity in Canada already and soon we will have the cleanest fuels in Canada too,” said Pallister. “Manitoba is leading the country once again.

“Agriculture always has been and always will be the key to Manitoba’s economic success.

“As an important economic driver, our agriculture industry cannot take its foot off the gas, so we will make that gas greener.”

The province said its new clean fuel standards are expected to reduce Manitoba’s emissions by almost 400,000 tonnes over the next five years — the equivalent of taking 100,000 vehicles off Manitoba roads.

The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA), however, says it’s not thrilled with the new regulations.

Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association
Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association Kevin Hirschfield/Global News

MTA executive director Terry Shaw told 680 CJOB his organization needs more information as to whether the province is speaking specifically about biodiesel or renewable diesel, which he referred to as “apple juice and orange juice — two different products.”

Both, however, have problems, he said.

“Neither are produced locally … it’s well understood by the fuelling industry that we don’t have the current infrastructure in place to support increased renewable fuel levels, so even once the regulations change, it’s going to be an estimated three years — an estimated $10 million — to create that blending capacity in Manitoba.

“Increasing biodiesel beyond what we see already today? Huge problems.”

The province said the next step in the process will be consultations with industry and other stakeholders over the coming months, with regulatory changes to be made in the spring.

A cross-border company, however is eyeing southwestern Manitoba as a location to build a biodiesel plant.

New West Opportunities chief operating officer Shane Pospisil told 680 CJOB his company is looking into the project following the province’s announcement of higher requirements for biofuel in gasoline and diesel.

A local plant would cut down on the amount of biofuel that needs to be shipped from other countries, he said.

“We see significant opportunities here, and we’ve been in Brandon the last few days talking with a lot of ag producers and industry leaders,” said Pospisil.

“There’s a fairly high level of excitement in terms of we’re talking about, and we see the potential for some strong partnerships.”

Pospisil said New West would still have to do its due diligence and make sure the numbers worked, but that there are ways to make biodiesel work in the province.

View image on Twitter

This news article was originally published by Global News Winnipeg.


SmartWay Technologies Reduce Emissions Significantly

- by Christina Hryniuk

Over the past decade, technology has dramatically improved supply chain freight efficiency. The SmartWay Technology Program have accredited numerous innovative technologies, which fleets are adopting because of the return on investment.

EPA-verified technologies reduce emissions for tractors, trailers, and locomotives. It also saves fuel. EPA varies aerodynamic devices, idling reduction equipment, and retread low rolling resistance tires. It also designates trailers quipped with combinations of EPA-verified technologies as SmartWay Trailers.

Fleet managers can buy SmartWay Verified Technologies directly from manufacturers and dealers.

Aerodynamic Devices for Trailers

Adding aerodynamic devices to smooth airflow over a truck on the highway is relatively cheap and an easy way for fleets to improve fuel economy in long-haul tractor-trailer applications.

Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) New and Retread Tire Technologies for tractors and trailers

Using the right tires cuts down on furl costs and harmful NOx emissions. Certain low rolling resistance tires and retread technologies can reduce cost and emissions for long-haul class 8 tractor-trailers by three percent or more.

To reach that reduction, the following requirements must be met:


  • Tires are used on the axle positions for which verification is specified.
  • Verified low rolling resistance tires are installed on all axle positions of the tractor and trailer. (Note: EPA has also demonstrated incremental fuel savings when low rolling resistance tires are used just on the tractor and/or just on the trailer.)
  • All tires are properly inflated according to the manufacturer's specifications.


  • Verified retread technologies are used on both the drive and trailer axles. (Note: EPA has also demonstrated incremental fuel savings when low rolling resistance tires are used just on the tractor and/or just on the trailer.)
  • The retread technologies are used on the axle positions for which verification is specified.
  • Verified low rolling resistance steer tires are used.
  • All tires are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Idling Reduction Technologies (IRTs) for trucks and school buses

In extreme weather conditions, truck divers must idle, but idling reduction technologies allow operators to shut down the main propulsion engine by using a device.

Each year, long-duration truck idling results in the following estimated figures:

  • 1 billion gallons of fuel consumption
  • 11 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • 180,000 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • 5,000 tons of particulate matter (PM)

Looking to save money and reduce your carbon footprint? Join SmartWay.

The Manitoba Trucking Association encourages all trucking companies to better educate themselves with the myriad of benefits the SmartWay program provides. SmartWay will be hosting a free webinar on Feb. 26 at 10 a.m.

Greening Freight Programs invites you to join this Webex meeting.

Meeting number (access code): 557 426 888
Meeting password: 8bBywY62
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
10:00 am | (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) | 1 hr

Join Meeting


How does SmartWay Calculate Carrier Emissions Rates?

- by Christina Hryniuk

SmartWay provides partners access to free resources and tools, while helping track and improve fuel efficiency, which will reduce emissions and operating costs. SmartWay is also committed to recognizing and publicizing the work of its partners. How are emissions measured and calculated?

In collaboration with their partners, SmartWay is asking partners to submit data to the SmartWay tool. The tool calculates a company’s specific emission rates, with accordance to their fleet category.

The six emission categories are:

  • Grams/kilometer of carbon dioxide
  • Grams/kilometer of nitrous oxide
  • Grams/kilometer of particulate matter (2.5 microns)
  • Grams/tonne-kilometer of carbon dioxide
  • Grams/tonne-kilometer of nitrous oxide
  • Grams/tonne-milometer of particulate matter (2.5 microns)

At yearend, shippers can calculate their own freight carbon footprint using the information from the carriers they work with.

The actual emission rates are never made public, however SmartWay uses the data to place companies into performance ranges, which are specific to each fleet category. Each fleet category has characteristics that can affect both fuel consumption and emissions, which makes the study unique.

How do Shippers use the data?

Shipping partners also submit data each year. They can import the information using SmartWay so they to can compare fleets, while evaluating transportation cost’s. Other calculations include, freight emissions and inventory of emission levels across each of the emissions categories.

Track truck carries data here.

For more information on SmartWay go here.

The Manitoba Trucking Association encourages all trucking companies to better educate themselves with the myriad of benefits the SmartWay program provides. SmartWay will be hosting a free webinar on Feb. 26 at 10 a.m.

Greening Freight Programs invites you to join this Webex meeting.

Meeting number (access code): 557 426 888
Meeting password: 8bBywY62
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
10:00 am | (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) | 1 hr

Join Meeting


Manitoba Truckers Needed: How to Get Funding for Truck Driver Training

- by Christina Hryniuk

Manitoba’s most recent labour market information report (Labour Market Occupational Forecasts 2019-2025) shows transport truck driver is an occupation with one of the highest levels of net openings. In fact, 99 percent of the 500 specifically listed occupations in the report have lower new job numbers than transport truck driver.

Manitoba needs 4,100 Transport Truck Drivers by 2025 if the needs of the provincial economy are going to be met. While this information highlights a serious economic concern, it also presents significant job fulfillment and public policy opportunity. Specifically, in support of the Manitoba Skills Strategy and Manitoba Works plans which have targeted “enhanced alignment between workforce training …and labour market needs” as well as “40,000 private sector jobs”. According to a national labour market forecast, vacancies for truck drivers across the country have more than doubled since 2016 with 22,000 vacant positions in 2018.

So what options are available for carriers to fill these positions? There is the driver training funding program, which covers the cost of driver training for those eligible applicants. Hundreds of Manitobans have been trained via this program already. The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) encourages trucking companies looking for drivers to take part in the program.
So how does it work?

Funding for Truck Driver Training

People who are looking to become drivers first need to obtain their class 5 driver’s license and finish the graduated licensee process. At this point, air brakes certification may be required.

Once you complete the graduate process, you will need your class medical, which has to be completed by a doctor and can be obtained through the registry of motor vehicles or Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) or your local insurance broker. Your medical conditions will be reviewed by a board of approval of Class 1 upgrade.

After you receive your medical, obtain the Class 1 instruction, book your test with MPI, and write your class 1 knowledge test.

You will then have to obtain your commercial abstract from MPI or your insurance broker. A commercial driver’s abstract reflects your driving habits for all class vehicles. The next step is to get a criminal record check. A clean search report is best because it allows you to cross the border, but its not necessary.

There are six approved truck driver training schools in the province. Upon registration the school will provide you with a letter acknowledging your registration.

You will also need to obtain a letter of intent from a trucking company. A letter is an acknowledgment-not an offer-that you spoke with them about the trucking industry. It indicates that the employer will hire you upon completing school and a company road test, based on the information you provided them. The letter of intent and registration letter will now allow you to approach your local Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre for approval of funding.

Funding is available for the 240-hour Class 1 Training Program and is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

For Employers

There are also opportunities to promote your organization by other means, such as Yes! Winnipeg’s 2020 International Recruitment Mission. The Asper School of Business regularly looks for companies to work with on co-op placements, as does Red River College. While these are not all opportunities for driving positions, the reality is that we need talented people throughout our industry.

Finally, there are resources available to smaller trucking companies, such as the Canada Small Business Financing Program, that will support investment in your organization (not specifically people) that may help your business grow as needed.

It can sometimes be a challenge to know where to turn to support your business, but the first place to try is the MTA. We regularly receive new information about new programs and opportunities, and we are always working to improve efficiency in bringing new people to our industry. So, if you have a question or aren’t sure where to turn for resources, contact us.


We can learn from U.S. ELDT program

- by Christina Hryniuk

Once again, our American counterparts appear on pace to beat us to the punch when it comes to implementing a much-needed safety initiative.

This time, it is the FMCSA’s national Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT), which is supposed to come into effect in February 2020. Watching this program roll out, I would suggest that there is a lot that we can learn from this process.

This will be a national backstop program, meaning that across the country, there is now a minimum training standard.

Once this program is implemented, no one will be able to simply test for a commercial vehicle license, they will be required to take some form of entry level training.

This is something that the Manitoba Trucking Association’s (MTA) board of directors has discussed with a national training program: the need to ensure there aren’t any loopholes or opportunities to slip through the cracks.

By having one national program, a backstop, if you will, no drivers can take advantage of lower standards in one state or another. Further, if a state already has a testing standard in place that is higher than what the FMCSA is proposing, the higher standard remains in effect.

With that said, it has to be pointed out that saying “there’s a standard” has to actually mean something.

In Manitoba, drivers in the MELT program are required to complete 121.5 hours of training, consisting of 40 hours in-class, followed by 41 hours in-cab, as well as 40.5 hours in the yard. Instructors are able to access a government and industry-designed set of training materials designed to cover all of the content in the curriculum.

According to the FMCSA website, there is no required amount of classroom theory/knowledge training or set number of hours behind the wheel. In this program, a new driver’s ability to drive is at the discretion of the trainer.

No specific training materials have been developed by the FMCSA beyond what can be found in the appendices of 49 CFR 380. This is a government document, not training material. So, to say there’s a testing standard might not mean what we would anticipate.

Second, much of the program requires self-certification that is not overseen. While we want to trust that everyone who registers with the Training Provider Registry meets the requirements, based on what our industry has seen with self-certification of ELDs in the U.S., the question must be asked, “Have all of the requirements actually been met?”

Finally, this is a huge program, which has led to delays in implementation and the usual finger pointing. Getting all regions on board and developing the necessary infrastructure and automation is a huge undertaking.

This isn’t a surprise, nor is this unique to the FMCSA. The recently implemented carbon tax backstop program here is Canada also had huge infrastructure and wrinkles that are still being resolved. Unfortunately, what it means right now is that the ELDT program is in limbo.

Why is it important for Canada’s trucking industry to pay attention to this? First, these drivers will be driving in Canada, so we want to ensure their drivers are as safe and well-trained as ours (safety-related reciprocity is a longstanding issue in Manitoba between the MTA and Manitoba Infrastructure).

However, there is opportunity to learn from their program as well.

If we can learn from its deficiencies, such as by ensuring the infrastructure is in place well in advance of roll-out or by developing a higher standard that is accepted across the board, then I believe we will be working toward creating a more level, safer playing field for all carriers and new drivers.

Our executive director Terry Shaw wrote this feature for


MTA's Executive Director Terry Shaw on CJOB talking about Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel

- by Christina Hryniuk

Terry Shaw, Executive Director of the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA), speaks about the differences of biodiseal and renewable diesel in light of the province's announcement about increasing Manitoba's biodiesel content and what it means for the trucking industry. Shaw also dives in to other options for reducing green house gases.

The MTA has been advocating for the GrEEner Trucking Program for years. We will continue to advocate for other options such as electrification and policy programs that are industry standard.

Listen to the interview here.


MTA Unsurprised by OAG Findings on Commercial Vehicle Safety Oversight

- by Aaron Dolyniuk

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - Winnipeg, MB- The Manitoba Trucking Association is appreciative of the work done by Manitoba’s Office of the Auditor General but unsurprised by findings in a report released today.

“We know that this report will help the general public better understand the opportunities for improving commercial vehicle safety in Manitoba. However, nothing in this report is news to us or Manitoba Infrastructure. The MTA has been requesting change on behalf of our industry for a long time - years, even decades,” explain Terry Shaw, Executive Director of the Manitoba Trucking Association. “This report supports what we have been advocating for on behalf of our members. It will better inform the public about safety oversight of our industry, and that the will of an informed public will guide this government’s decision-making.”

The report, “Department of Infrastructure: Oversight of Commercial Vehicle Safety”, covered the time period from April 2017 to August 2018, and examined the adequacy of the Department of Infrastructure’s oversight of commercial vehicle safety, including the motor-carrier safety fitness program, on-road commercial vehicle inspections, and strategic planning and performance management. The conclusion of the Office of the Auditor General is that oversight of commercial vehicle safety is inadequate in Manitoba, with gaps in management of on-road inspections, weak planning and performance measurement processes, and that safety-fitness programs practices are insufficient to verify and promote road safety.

“When you read through this report, you will see that the department agrees with every single recommendation provided by the Office of the Auditor General. Some of these have been on our list since the early 2000s. What we question is why and how any of these items are still up for discussion? They should have been resolved years ago to improve road safety in Manitoba,” adds John Erik Albrechtsen, President of the MTA.

Some specific recommendations from the report include:

  • better assessment and promotion of new entrants’ safety fitness,
  • strengthening checks for chameleon carriers,
  • improved methodology to grade and assess operators’ safety performance,
  • flag for follow-up those operators within the total population who pose the greatest safety risk to the public and are most in need of improvement,
  • help poor-performing operators identify underlying safety-management weaknesses and take appropriate corrective action,
  • determine and document the likely underlying causes and corrective actions needed to address any identified non-compliance with safety regulations,
  • require all operators flagged as poor performers to include reports on their progress in implementing action-plans for improvement when renewing their certificates,
  • ensure that all methods used to award operators “satisfactory” safety-fitness ratings are transparent, can be logically defended, and treat all operators with similar safety-records consistently,
  • seek greater clarity on its current practice of not requiring any U.S.-based carriers operating in Manitoba to be registered in Manitoba’s safety-fitness program,
  • stop registering commercial operators of heavy-farm-trucks in the safety-fitness program without requiring them to obtain safety-fitness certificates,
  • improve the percentage of commercial truck traffic subject to inspection,
  • adopt greater variability in its weigh station and patrol operating hours in order to make them less predictable,
  • build on its past success in increasing the number of inspections being performed,
  • develop a documented performance management process for its on-road enforcement officers,
  • develop and implement a formal plan for commercial vehicle safety.

“Regulations are only as good as the oversight associated with them. Opportunities for improvement have been confirmed by Manitoba’s Auditor General so what our industry members want to know is when Manitoba Infrastructure actually plans to implement the recommendations agreed to in this report?” concludes Shaw.

The Manitoba Trucking Association is very appreciative of the work done by Manitoba’s Office of the Auditor General to highlight the current state of commercial vehicle oversight provincially, and looks forward to working with Manitoba Infrastructure on the implementation of these recommendations.


For more information, please contact:

Terry Shaw

Executive Director

Manitoba Trucking Association



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