April 30th, 2021
April 30th, 2021
QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPP Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk-James Bay) congratulated truckers after his NDP motion calling on the government to tackle crushing insurance costs and a shortage of drivers was passed in the legislature on Thursday.
“Today is a victory for all the truckers in northern Ontario and across the province who are facing crippling costs in their industry. The passing of this motion in the legislature is an acknowledgement that action is needed to deal with the astronomical insurance costs facing truckers, and the driver shortage in this province,” said Bourgouin.
Bourgouin held a press conference before the debate on his bill on Thursday. He was joined by Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, CEO of the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada; Angela Price, a roll-off truck driver; Debbie Paquin, an independent truck owner-operator; and Peter Larocque, an independent truck owner-operator.
“Now we must keep up the pressure on this government for action,” said Bourgouin. “This pandemic has hit everyone hard, but truckers have delivered on time. They have been there for northern Ontario industry and they have been there for the people, delivering the products we all need to market. But now, they are in trouble. Truckers need immediate help before these costs drive them out of business.”
Bourgouin’s motion calls on the Ford government to commit to a truck owner-operator strategy to tackle the truck driver shortage, and the increasing truck insurance costs hurting truck owner-operators. The motion includes mandating trucking companies that operate fleets to provide their drivers with a letter of experience upon request. It calls for a review of the current underwriting rules and risk classification that gravely affect truck owner-operators, and to re-evaluate the current truck driver training standards and costs.
Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, CEO of the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada
“Insurance companies and large fleets have had an unfair monopoly on small owner operators and this has to change. Drivers should have the right to work where they want and not where Insurance companies dictate. I am pleased that this motion passed. This is the first important step toward positive change in our industry.”
Angela Price, experienced roll-off and heavy-haul truck driver from Kawartha Lakes
“After graduating from government-approved training and my experience with roll-off and heavy-haul equipment, I can’t obtain employment because I can’t get a Letter of Experience from previous insurance. Five companies have approached me offering employment, but I can’t be insured with their policies. CVOR, employment logbooks or even letters from previous employers aren’t accepted. It seems inconceivable to me that I am qualified but have been unable to work for years. It has cost me years of income, stress and depression. I thank Mr. Bourgouin for standing up for truck drivers.”
Debbie Paquin and Claude Laflamme, truck owner-operators, Hearst
"I thank Mr. Bourgouin for having brought this motion to the Legislative Assembly. In 2018, our insurance increased from $2,800 to $6,500 overnight without reason. We’ve had to accept the decision because we had no choice. Then, our son wanted to follow his father’s path, so he completed the trucker training, which cost him $10,000. To insure our family business, it costs us $15,000. We are now paying $25,000 in insurance premiums every year, without any basis on experience or accident record. I hope Mr. Bourgouin’s motion will help change things."
Peter Larocque, independent truck owner-operator from Haleybury
“I operate a portable storage business with one truck when we should be utilizing three trucks, but we can’t afford the insurance costs. My son passed provincial MELT, received in-class and on-the-road training in excess of the mandated requirement, and has operated a tractor-trailer under my supervision and mentorship for more than two years. Yet he is uninsurable. He would have to work for three years for a large fleet before being able to take over our family business. This just doesn’t work for small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy. This motion is much needed.”