The town of Caledon has set up a task force to deal with the element of non-compliant carriers setting up operations in the region.
As reported by Road Today, The Proactive Land Use Enforcement Task Force will begin work in the spring to address the illegal occupation of its land by nearly 100 trucking businesses, among other activities.
“Our land is under serious threat from illegal parking, storage and operations related to commercial trucking,” Mayor Allan Thompson lamented in a letter to Caledon Enterprise ahead of the council debate.
“These illegal users have set up shop here to take advantage of our proximity to the Greater Toronto Area.”
Caledon, with a population of just under 75,000, is part of the Regional Municipality of Peel, the trucking hub of Ontario.
“They are difficult to prosecute… For many operators, a fine is just cost of doing business. They pay the fine and keep on trucking,” the mayor wrote.
The Ontario Trucking Association welcomed the plan. At a recent Peel Region Goods Movement Taskforce, OTA’s Jonathon Blackham spoke to the mayor about the effort and offered OTA assistance in helping the town crack down on illegal operations.
Blackham said it was reasonable to assume that many of the carriers squatting on land illegally are the same who participate in other non-compliant schemes like Driver Inc. and engine emission control system tampering in order to cut operating costs and create an uneven playing field with compliant carriers.
According to Truck News, Phase 1 of the Work Plan will focus on the development and implementation of a communication strategy. Phase 2 calls for the hiring of a solicitor, zoning administrator and two enforcement officers. Phase 3 will involve the monitoring of the program. The task force will track key statistics and update the council periodically.
In his letter, Mayor Thompson expressed frustration over the issue.
“Contrary to popular belief, the town cannot simply storm these offending properties and tow everything away,” he said.
“Unlike the offenders, Caledon must act responsibly and follow the rule of law.”
He extended an olive branch to those who want to work with the town, saying Caledon will give them the opportunity to comply.
“If they don’t, we will go after them, again and again, until they get the message that it’s not business as usual in Caledon.”
Meanwhile, at the Peel Goods Movement event, OTA was presented a certificate for being involved for 10 years with Peel Goods Movement Task Force.
“Peel is a true leader when it comes to goods movement,” said Blackham. “More freight moves through Peel on any given day than any other region in the province, the task force plays a big part in finding ways to move that freight as efficiently as possible.”
Two Road Knights were also present to represent the industry and to talk trucking with delegates. They presented their perspective and along with OTA staff fielded questions on the industry and the importance of trucking to the Regional economy.
PHOTO: OTA Road Nights address Peel Goods Movement officials