CTA Pre-Budget Spotlight: Ensuring Tax and Labour Compliance


For over five years, the CTA has been calling on the federal government to combat gross noncompliance, labour abuse, and, in some cases, forced labour in the trucking sector. However, those pleas went unanswered and the abuse has continued to grow exponentially.

At the urging of industry, ESDC agreed in 2022 to launch an enforcement pilot project to explore Driver Inc. misclassification in Ontario, which, as expected, found widespread gross noncompliance and contravention of the misclassification rules by more than 60% of employers.

“Without a doubt the numbers show there is a clear problem here,” said Jonathan Blackham, CTA Director of Policy and Public Affairs. “Since the government failed to fully deliver on its promise in the 2022 Fall Economic Statement to seriously combat Driver Inc, the sad truth is we still see thousands of workers being stripped of their labour rights, while our tax base is robbed of billions of dollars that should be going to critical social programs and infrastructure like hospitals.”

As the Government of Canada very well knows from industry accounts and its own studies, this underground economy scheme is designed to put ill-gotten cash into the pockets of those that participate. This includes committing tax fraud and avoiding the true costs associated with honouring employee entitlements (like overtime pay, vacation pay, leaves for workers, and many others). Together, the savings that are being realized are often used to undercut the market and distort the competitive playing field.

Now that the Government of Canada has brought in paid medical leave (10-paid sick days) for all federally regulated workers, including workers in the trucking sector, the temptation to deny labour rights and commit tax fraud in our sector has only grown stronger.

To begin, the CTA 2024 pre-budget submission reiterates many long-standing asks. For one, that the Government of Canada demonstrate that it is committed to its own tax and labour laws through meaningful enforcement; and the federal government make good on its outstanding promise to the industry that was made in the Fall 2022 Economic Statement to have a comprehensive tax strategy, including a T4A (or similar) pilot process launched in our sector.

“After more than five years of effort to attract attention to this important issue, the industry is counting on the Government of Canada to do the right thing and to end the abuse in Canada’s trucking sector,” says Blackham. “CTA hopes to see the federal government move on this important issue in the upcoming federal budget.”

For a copy of the CTA pre-budget submission, CTA member carriers can contact their provincial trucking association.

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