Public Rest Areas Must Stay Open

- by Don Stewart

CTA & ATA Request Governments Keep Public Rest Areas Open During States of Emergency

Keeping Canada and America’s trucking industry moving during this ongoing battle against the spread of COVID-19 means that commercial truck rest areas must remain open and accessible to North American truck drivers at the front lines of keeping both economies functioning.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and the American Trucking Association (ATA) are imploring all levels of government to keep public rest areas open during declarations of emergency.

“Not only do the rest areas need to remain open, we need to ensure that if this crisis is extended, food needs to be available for drivers at these areas along with sanitary and safe restroom facilities,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “Drivers all over the country are ready to respond to this crisis, keep the supply chain moving and ensure store shelves are stocked; but in order to do that, they need access to basic sanitation and be able to continue to manage fatigue as they respond to this emergency.”

The Canadian and US economies depend on the trucking industry to deliver all the essential products Canadians and Americans require in these uncertain times, including medical and sanitation supplies fighting this virus as well as other emergency relief and food products.

“These hard-working men and women deserve and need a place to safely park their vehicles to rest as well as get food. We need to help our nation’s drivers more than ever – truck drivers will play a key role in fighting COVID-19. Shutting down the very few safe places they can rest, shower, fuel up and eat is not something anyone wants and will eventually disrupt the delivery of essential goods Canadians and Americans desperately need right now,” added Laskowski.

CTA is calling on governments to develop plans ensuring our drivers are well rested, fed and have proper access to clean washrooms throughout this crisis.

CTA has also been in touch with NATSO, Representing America's Travel Centers and Truckstops, regarding truck stop hours and staying in communication. NATSO shared this statement from the US federal government, which offers support in keeping truck stops open throughout the country.

If you have any questions, Please contact: 204 632-6600


Voluntary Quarantine Measures For The Trucking Industry

- by Don Stewart

Canadian Trucking Alliance Public Statement on Voluntary Quarantine Measures for Leaving the Country

These are unprecedented times for Canadians. The Canadian Trucking Alliance supports the Government of Canada and all provinces in every way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

However, yesterday provinces began issuing statements regarding quarantine recommendations for Canadians leaving and returning to Canada. Our economy depends on trade with the United States – 70 percent of which is moved by the trucking industry and includes all essential products Canadians depend upon in these uncertain times, including medical and sanitation supplies fighting this virus as well as other emergency relief and food products.

The trucking industry and its drivers are an essential service. Self-quarantines for drivers leaving the country, who have not tested positive for the virus, would bring our economy to a grinding halt and jeopardize the public safety of Canadians. It is essential that distinctions are maintained between voluntary travel by the general public and those operating in vital international and domestic commerce. CTA would ask all levels of government examining their quarantine policies involving international travel and domestic trade to keep in mind that truck drivers are an essential service. The unintended consequences of not specifically considering this job class and its international travel requirements as an essential service could be catastrophic for the economy.

If you are a member of the Manitoba Trucking Association and would like more information or instructions on how to better connect with your Provincial Government.

Please contact us at: 204 632-6600


​ESDC Announces Steps Toward Regulating Scheduling Exemptions

- by Christina Hryniuk

(Feb. 14, 2020) -- Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has announced a process to consider solidifying exemptions from new scheduling requirements for certain job classes in the trucking industry.

In 2019 ESDC announced interim exemptions in a variety of industries from a new scheduling requirement that came into force on September 1, 2019. At that time, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) prepared a submission on behalf of the trucking industry and eventually interim exemptions were granted for several job classes in the trucking industry, like Truck Drivers, Courier Drivers, Material Handlers/Warehouse Workers, and Shipper-Receivers.

“When we dealt with this issue last fall, there was not enough time to have these exemptions solidified in regulation before the fall federal election,” said Stephen Laskowski, CTA president. “As a result, interim exemptions were used until the regulatory process could be initiated.”

Since that time, it has been ‘business as usual’ for trucking companies and employees in these job classes when it comes to scheduling requirements. However, ESDC has now announced that they will be beginning the process to solidify these exemptions into regulation. As was the case with the last round, it appears ESDC will be taking a sectoral approach and CTA will be leading the efforts in the trucking sector.

“In our opinion, CTA and the trucking industry made one of the strongest cases of any sector in the last round of consultations on this issue,” said Jonathan Blackham, CTA Direct of Policy and Public Affairs. “Our technical submission in support of these exemptions was fact based and clearly articulated the issues these new provisions caused for the trucking industry, and quite frankly, the entire Canadian supply chain.”

CTA was supported by groups and companies from the trucking industry, manufacturing, primary resources and many others. At the time, CTA was copied on countless emails from all aspects of the Canadian supply chain sent directly to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Labour supporting CTA’s request for exemptions.

While CTA is hoping that they do not need to initiate a similar call to action during this consultation, CTA is asking the trucking industry and the supply chain to be ready should trucking need their assistance to make the policy case for our sector.

“The government undoubtedly knows there has been rapid changes occurring in all freight sectors and the economy itself. Rapid changes that demand flexibility,” said Laskowski. “Key operational trends like just-in-time inventory, 24-hour package delivery, and variable production, among a host of other trends and practices, cannot be disregarded by government policy. We are hopeful these consultations will recognize these essential facts and will put these exemptions in regulation.”


​​CTA to be Part of the National Task Force Reviewing Commercial Insurance

- by Christina Hryniuk

(Feb. 10, 2020) -- Commercial insurance is a popular topic among those in the trucking industry and other commercial sectors in the economy. In response to the increasing attention pertaining to commercial insurance, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has formed the National Commercial Insurance Task Force, with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) being a key member.

The Task Force will begin meetings this month in Alberta and travelling across the rest of the country in the Winter-Spring of 2020. The IBC Task Force has a mandate to:

  • Educate and inform consumers, governments and stakeholders on the factors contributing to the current availability and affordability challenges with commercial insurance;
  • Learn from different industry partners, consumers and stakeholders about their experiences related to challenges around insurance availability and affordability;
  • Develop a report with recommendations that aim to improve insurance availability and affordability for industry partners, consumers and stakeholders.

“The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) thanks and applauds IBC for taking leadership on this issue and establishing this process,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski. “This is an opportunity to explore with the insurance industry what changes the membership would like to see in the area of commercial insurance.”

In preparation for this process, CTA has begun surveying its membership on potential areas for improvement they would like to see in commercial insurance.

“Early responses highlighted by members include issues related to insurance fraud, trucking sector specific issues, insurance personnel training, and length of claim process,” said CTA’s Senior VP Policy Geoff Wood. “Members will have an opportunity to be engaged in this process through CTA staff, or in some cases more directly by attending regional meetings of the Task Force. Either way we encourage the membership to get involved.”

To learn more about this important initiative, please click here.


How to Become a Successful Trucking Dispatcher

- by Christina Hryniuk

Truck drivers represent more than 45 percent of our industry’s workers, but there are other occupations in trucking and logistics that deserve consideration too.

According to Trucking HR’s Labour Market Information: Interim Report September 2019, dispatchers made up about two percent of the workforce. Despite such a low number, they play a substantial and important role in the trucking industry.

From Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census we know:

  • There are 16,730 dispatchers working in Canada’s trucking and logistics industry
  • Regionally, 12% of these dispatchers are in B.C., 15% in Alberta, 7% in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 39% in Ontario, 22% in Quebec and 5% in Atlantic Canada
  • Women make up 39% of the dispatcher workforce
  • 19% of dispatchers are newcomers to Canada
  • 19% are visible minorities
  • 4% of dispatchers are Indigenous

People between the ages of 15 and 35 make up 31 percent of the position, while people over the age of 55 account for 17 percent.

Become a dispatcher

A dispatcher monitors where trucks are located, checks on how the runs are going, deals with customers, finds the next load assignments, and more. The job of a dispatcher is fast-paced and constantly changing.

If you are thinking about becoming a trucking dispatcher, you’ll want to know whether it’s a right fit for you. You don’t need formal education to become a dispatcher, however there are programs and classes that are very helpful to the position. The other approach is quite simple. Hands on experience.

Once you are a in the position, you will quickly learn that it can be occasionally stressful. To overcome this, check your documents and work before moving forward, because one mistake could cause a domino effect of many more mistakes.

Dispatchers are good at multitasking. From finishing a phone call, you’ll likely have multiple emails, then be back on the phone again, then try to manage more emails and phone calls. With that being said, it’s important to plan ahead—know what the weather will be like the next day, whether there’s construction on your route or not, and map out a general plan.

As a dispatcher you will work closely with drivers where you will have to communicate with clearly and regularly.

Go to Jobs Canada to find dispatcher jobs now.


Province Removes Spring Road Restrictions on Several Roadways

- by Christina Hryniuk


The Manitoba government has removed spring weight restrictions on some roads and reduced others following a comprehensive review, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced today.

“Last fall, we completed a review of weight-restricted roads on the provincial highway network to better focus on local industry and economic needs,” said Schuler. “Removing or reducing weight restrictions from several sections of road will reduce the administrative burden on transportation carriers applying for permits and remove regulatory red tape. These changes are designed to help make Manitoba highways safer and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions since fewer trips will be needed to haul products.”

Spring weight restrictions protect Manitoba’s surfaced roads from excessive damage by reducing the axle weights of heavy commercial vehicles, as the spring thaw can significantly reduce road foundation strength. The province determines spring road restrictions through data collection and analysis from the previous year. Manitoba Infrastructure (MI) can impose new road restrictions based on current conditions, as well as remove or reduce existing restrictions based on road improvements.

In consultation with industry, MI periodically revises its policies and procedures to reflect current transportation trends, industry needs and weather patterns. This year, it considered new criteria for changes on restricted roads, including pavement condition and traffic level, which resulted in more removals and reductions than the past few years.

The province has removed restrictions on:
• Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 21 from the north junction of Provincial Road (PR) 355 to First Avenue in Shoal Lake;
• PR 206 from the south junction of PR 210 to the north junction of PR 210 in Landmark;
• PR 210 from PR 207 to PTH 12;
• PR 247 from PR 334 to PTH 3;
• PR 272 from PTH 20 to Duck Bay;
• PR 285 from PTH 10 to Sinclair Road;
• PR 326 from PR 329 to the east junction River Road in Arborg; and
• Sperring Avenue for 2.9 km south and west of PR 202 in Birds Hill.

The province has reduced spring restriction levels from 65 per cent to 90 per cent of normal loading weight on:
• PTH 34 from PTH 1 to PTH 16;
• PR 244 from PTH 3 to PTH 23;
• PR 248 from PTH 1 to PTH 26;
• PR 305 from 11.3 km north of PTH 2 to the Assiniboine River;
• PR 422 from PTH 23 to PR 205;
• PR 428 from PTH 23 to PTH 14; and
• PR 643 (St. Laurent access) from the south junction of PTH 6 to 2.6 km west.

The province has not added any new restrictions for spring 2020.

Based on thawing in designated climate zones, spring road restrictions are generally in place from early March until early June. Motor carriers, farmers, businesses and other interested parties can learn more about spring road restrictions at

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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.


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