The Government of Ontario today announced its Towing Task Force, which will begin to develop much-needed oversight for the towing industry in the province.
Since 2017, OTA has been working with the Ministry of Transportation, the OPP and the responsible segment of the heavy towing industry, to bring change to the sector and improve clearance times for collisions, provide consumer protections and improve overall safety of incident management on Ontario’s highways.
“The Ontario Trucking Association applauds today’s announcement by Premier Ford, Minister Mulroney and the Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and looks forward to contributing to the work ahead,” said David Carruth, OTA Chair. “With the full weight of the Provincial Government and police forces behind the movement to bring accountability and transparency to towing, the trucking industry can be assured we won’t fall victim to the small, but growing, segment of asphalt pirates who make their living by gouging unsuspecting trucking companies who are involved in collisions or breakdowns on Ontario highways.”
The Task Force is made up of several government ministries including transportation, solicitor general, finance, government and consumer services, labour, along with the Ontario Provincial Police. Specifically, the Task Force will examine ways to improve safety and enforcement, consumer protections, training and standards for towing operations in the province.
OTA’s efforts were originally led by former Chair Steve Ondejko when the association launched a comprehensive multi-year review of towing invoices, submitted by OTA members, to better understand where price gouging was taking place. This information, now property of the Government of Ontario, will be critical in assisting the Task Force in developing proposals to bring order and accountability to the heavy-duty towing and recovery sector.
“There are a number of reputable, well established towing companies with ethical business practices who serve the trucking industry and these are the organizations we want our members to do business with – not the pirates prowling the highways who inflate and embellish invoices by 10 to 15 times, hold vehicles for ransom and destroy property because they use untrained operators,” said OTA Senior VP Policy Geoffrey Wood.
With provincial oversight in place, OTA is confident price gouging will disappear, the clearing incidents on provincial highways will be conducted efficiently and safely, and the flow of traffic will be maintained to allow the trucking industry to effectively support the supply chains in Ontario.