QUEEN’S PARK – Small trucking businesses in Northern Ontario and across the province are facing brutal insurance costs, a shortage of drivers, and are at risk of folding as a result, said NDP MPP Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk-James Bay) who tabled a motion Tuesday calling on the Ford government to take action to help small truck owner-operators.
“Northern Ontario depends on local drivers and small family-owned trucking businesses to get product to market, and for many shipping services. During this pandemic, truckers have gone above and beyond to sustain the province’s supply chain. But now they are in trouble, and are being paralyzed by sky-high insurance prices that threaten to put them out of business,” said Bourgouin. “That would be disastrous for northern Ontario’s resource industries that depend on them, and our regional economy.”
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, to review 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.
“Doug Ford needs to act now to help truckers, some of who are paying over $15,000 a year in insurance costs, and are unable to secure new drivers because of insurance policies that favour the largest truck corporations in the province. How much more does Doug Ford think that small trucking businesses can take?”
“While I have an extensive experience driving roll-off trucks, it was disheartening to remain unemployed because I was unable to obtain a Letter of Experience. This cost me years of income, worrying and suffering. I had even thought of leaving the province to find employment elsewhere.” – Angela Price, experienced roll-off truck driver, Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
“I have been in the trucking industry since 1987 and I have never seen anything like this. I have an impeccable record yet, in 2018, the cost to insure my truck increased by 132%. To add insult to injury, I cannot afford employing my son: while he completed the costly Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT), I would have to pay a $14,000 to $30,000 premium every year to insure him.” - Claude Laflamme, Independent truck owner-operator, Hearst, Ontario
“For years, I was unable to hire my 30 year-old son to join my small portable storage in Northern Ontario due to existing arbitrary underwriting rules and cost-prohibitive insurance premiums that largely affect small businesses like mine. In 2020, had I opted to insure my son in my small family trucking business, our insurance premium would have increased by 250%. It simply doesn’t make any sense.” – Peter Larocque, Independent truck owner-operator, Haleybury, Ontario