In a recent announcement on the legalization of recreation cannabis dealing primarily with the retail aspects of the provincial regime, the government of Ontario also clarified or confirmed the direction on several other key aspects. In this, the government stressed that Ontarians will not be able to use recreational cannabis in any public spaces, work places, motor vehicles or boats.
The government also reiterated its zero tolerance approach to impaired driving for commercial vehicle drivers, including escalating roadside administrative licence suspensions (click here for more details).
Carriers should be aware these new measures came into effect as of July 1, 2018. Police officers will be authorized after October 17 to use approved oral fluid screening devices at roadside to enforce the zero tolerance laws for cannabis. Officers will also continue to use the Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and will continue to receive training as Drug Recognition Experts (DREs).
While not addressed in the government’s recent announcement, OTA continues to advocate for the allowance of a comprehensive drug and alcohol testing program (that includes random testing) for safety sensitive positions. OTA has also voiced its concerns around exemptions built into the zero-tolerance regime for users of medical cannabis.
OTA carrier members interested in learning more about opportunities to address drug and alcohol policies can click here for an upcoming workshop on September 13.