OTA driver-inc

Trucking Execs to Freeland: Enforce the Law Against Illegal Driver Inc

Trucking companies from CTA’s Executive and provincial association executive committees are imploring Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Freeland to honour a commitment the Government of Canada made to end the tax avoidance and labour misclassification scheme in the trucking industry, known as Driver Inc.

The carriers, who play pivotal roles on executive committees at the CTA and provincial association level, represent nearly 55,000 Canadian workers, nationwide.

“In advance of Budget 2024, we request urgent action in our industry,” stated the letter submitted to the minister by the Canadian Trucking Alliance, on behalf of 31 company presidents and executives who helped craft and signed the document. “Our businesses are at a crossroads. Prolonged inaction from the Government of Canada to do anything about the unscrupulous labour misclassification and tax evasion scheme known as Driver Inc is leading to irreparable damage to one of the most critical sectors of the Canadian economy.”

“For years, honest businesses operators have been sounding the alarm in Ottawa on the need to crack down on Driver Inc. This scheme gives rise to the largest underground economy of any federally regulated sector. Rather than addressing this issue head on – and simply apply current laws and regulations to stop this unlawful practice – your government has instead contributed to the rapid growth of the problem, which has reached a level of crisis in our sector.”

The letter reminds the minister the Government of Canada and her department, specifically, acknowledged the growing problem in the 2022 Fall Economic Statement and committed to taking action to stop it.

Details of those enforcement plans were promised in Budget 2023, but the Budget came and went without any mention of any meaningful action or future enforcement direction on Driver Inc. After a full year, there still has been little, if any, effort made by the federal government to address this issue.

“We are not bluffing when we say that Driver Inc. has reached crisis level for our industry. We conservatively estimate that over one-third of the trucking fleets in certain parts of the country employ the scheme – and that rate is growing rapidly,” the carriers wrote.

“As the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, we are asking you to show leadership and make it clear that the Canadian Labour Code and federal tax laws cannot be systematically abused to enrich bad actors while punishing those running their businesses honestly. Good and decent Canadians are losing out and being taken advantage of through government inaction. Further, by turning a blind eye to these criminal actions, the Government of Canada is losing out on considerable tax revenue needed to support social infrastructure and critical programs Canadians rely on.

“We need immediate action now!”

Compliant carriers and taxpaying truck drivers who wish to express similar sentiments to the minister ahead of the 2024 Budget, can email her here chrystia.freeland@parl.gc.ca or DM her on X/Twitter here @cafreeland

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