Canadian Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan issued the federal government’s strongest statement yet against the trucking industry misclassification scheme known as Driver Inc.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Minister stated that Driver Inc “deprives workers of their basic rights” and assured Canadians that Ottawa will begin cracking down on the illegitimate business model. “Where non-compliance is found, we will take action – including through orders, fines, and even prosecutions,” he stated.
The statements are welcomed by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), which for years has urged governments and regulatory agencies at all levels across the country to put an end to what industry and the Toronto Starhave have called a “billion-dollar scam” based on rampant tax avoidance, labour abuse and “shoddy” safety practices by unscrupulous carriers.
He confirmed that ESDC is currently conducting enforcement activities in Ontario with plans to expand these efforts nationally.
“We expect all employers to treat their employees fairly, and those who fail to do so will face consequences,” O’Regan continued. “We are committed to protecting workers, and we will continue to work with the sector to crack down on Drivers Inc.”
While CTA is encouraged by the Minister’s public remarks and ESDC’s Driver Inc. pilot program in the province of Ontario, the Alliance stresses that after many years of discussion about the problem, a dramatic escalation of national enforcement across multiple government agencies is required to protect the rights of all workers in the trucking sector as well as the ability of compliant trucking fleets to compete against this illegal scam.
“CTA appreciates the public support by Minister O’Regan to fight Driver Inc. and now looks forward to continuing to work with the department on the rapid deployment of enforcement upon the Driver Inc scam, including the exclusive use of fines as well as prosecutions where applicable,” says CTA president Stephen Laskowski.
To watch the Minister’s comments please see below: