Maple Leaf Motoring is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of Canadian transportation. This week: getting migrating salmon to safety, premiers back mandatory driver training and VR simulator to improve driver skills.
Trucks or even a specialized cannon could be used to transport migrating salmon blocked by a landslide in British Columbia.
About 2,000 fish per day were arriving at the obstructed portion of the Fraser River at Big Bar during the past week. That number is expected to surge to tens of thousands as salmon attempt to make their way upstream to their spawning waters, Oceans and Fisheries Canada said on July 10.
“Immediate action needs to be taken, and so we are exploring all options to enhance fish passage,” Oceans and Fisheries said.
The affected area is located in a remote, treacherous part of the Fraser River, at the bottom of a canyon. Any effort would involve some degree of a logistical challenge.
For trucks, a road would have to be built, which would involve a “pretty big engineering challenge,” Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson told the CBC.
Officials have yet to weigh on the “salmon cannon” option. But in the meantime, Oceans and Fisheries issued a directive on July 12 limiting the fishing of chinook salmon to those 80-centimeters-long and below because so few fish are getting through.
Premiers back mandatory driver training
The leaders of Canada’s provinces and territories endorsed national minimum training standards for truck drivers that are “consistent and fair across the board.”
The 13 premiers, who met in Saskatchewan from July 9 to 11, said they are “well on their way” to adopting a national standard by 2021.
“Building on the work underway, a new minimum standard will strengthen commercial vehicle safety on roads across Canada through the application of a consistent and reasonable approach,” the leaders said in a statement.
Canada does not have a national training standard for commercial vehicle standards. The federal government is developing one, though its implementation would depend in a large part on provincial governments.
Virtual reality-based simulator to be piloted for trucking
A program funded by the Canadian government will utilize a virtual reality-based simulator to provide training to existing truck drivers.
Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic plans to train at least 150 drivers from Canada’s Atlantic coast provinces during the two-year project.
The simulator will utilize artificial intelligence and track the movement of users’ eyes.