Premiers Committed to National MELT Implementation, Single Tire Alignment, Prioritizing Immigrant Worker Programs

Trucking issues remain high on the agenda of Canada’s premiers, who met in Saskatchewan this week to discuss transportation safety, economic growth and competitiveness, immigration, reducing barriers to internal trade, and strategic infrastructure.

The premiers announced they are committed to adopting a minimum national entry-level training standard by 2021. Relatedly, they also announced the provinces are exploring online programming options for the in-class portion of commercial driver training with the goal of making training more accessible to those seeking to obtain a class 1 commercial licence.

Citing the Humboldt Broncos bus crash last year, the premiers reiterated their pledge to support the trucking industry in “taking a more urgent look at the state of road and commercial safety … and how it can be improved to help prevent future collisions.”

The premiers also completed reconciliation agreements that will address differences in the areas of occupational safety, transportation and technical safety. Specifically related to trucking, the provinces announced weights for single wide-base tires and dual tires will be aligned to make use of singles more practical for trucking fleets on major trade routes. They also announced mutual recognition for the review of pressure vessel equipment design that will remove “redundant and expensive” reviews for participating jurisdictions.

Other highlights:

  • The premiers reiterated the importance of Provincial and Territorial Nominee Programs and that provinces and territories are best placed to determine the most appropriate nominee selection criteria based on jurisdictional needs and priorities. They called on the federal government to ensure timely and efficient processing of provincially and territorially nominated economic immigrants and to achieve a minimum target of 65 percent of annual admissions for economic immigrants (including skilled workers, business people and entrepreneurs). They also discussed the need for flexibility in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to meet the needs of small and medium sized enterprises who can demonstrate difficulty in finding Canadian workers.
  • The premiers directed ministers to ensure regulatory cooperation continues in emerging areas like autonomous vehicles.
  • Provinces are also committed to bringing cannabis for non-medical purposes under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement and ministers were directed to prioritize this work once all provinces and territories have finalized their regulatory models.
  • The premiers announced the introduction of a reconciled, integrated system for extra-provincial corporate registration, starting with the western provinces and expanding across the country.