Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian transportation. This week: Transportation and warehouse employment rises, Mountie foils C$25,000 lobster caper, and British Columbia begins works on mandatory driver training.
Employment in Canada’s transportation and warehousing sector jumped by 1.2 percent during June, largely driven by hiring in Ontario.
Employers in the sector, predominantly in the trucking industry, added 13,000 people to payrolls in Ontario, Statistics Canada reported on July 5 in its monthly Labor Force Survey. Strength in transportation hiring happened despite overall flat month employment across all industries.
Fotios Raptis, a senior economist with TD Bank, said the one month-surge appeared to be a positive correction for a plunge in February.
“The Canadian economy is going strong. Transportation and warehousing grow in tandem with that,” Raptis said.
Year-over-year, employment has increased by 6.5 percent in the sector – far outpacing Canada’s overall labor market.
Raptis said he saw no link between the bump in transportation and logistics employment and the end of steel and aluminum tariffs in May.
Mountie finds C$25,000 of stolen lobster in cube van
Three suspects were arrested after a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer encountered a broken-down cube van with more than C$25,000 of stolen lobster inside in New Brunswick.
The Mountie made the discovery after LOL Seafood reported the theft of 48 cases of crustaceans from a storage facility in Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island.
The cube van, which was accompanied by a truck, wasn’t road-legal, the RCMP said on June 2. The stolen lobster also wasn’t being stored properly.
The officer secured the lobster with the help of Fisheries and Oceans Canada officers and return it to the seafood company.
The investigation is ongoing.
British Columbia moves toward mandatory truck driver training
The government of British Columbia will begin consultations this summer to develop entry-level commercial truck driver training.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the step on July 4. The provincial government plans to consult with the trucking and driver training industries, and look at aligning standards with other provinces.
“Safety on our highways is our top priority and advancing the skill development of new commercial drivers would make roads even safer for everyone,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a statement. “That’s why we’re exploring what a practical and consistent mandatory training program for new commercial truck drivers could look like in B.C.”
The move toward mandatory training reflects a national push for increased driver training standards following the 2018 crash involving a semi-truck and a bus carrying members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team in Saskatchewan. Sixteen people died, and the driver was convicted of vehicular manslaughter.
The driver had only been working for a few weeks and had numerous violations on his log.
The British Columbia Trucking Association had recommended the province institute mandatory training for Class 1 drivers.
“Development of a commercial driver training standard has been a key priority for our industry for many years, and the government’s decision to meaningfully engage industry early and throughout the process is greatly appreciated,” association President Dave Earle said in a statement.