The Canadian Trucking Alliance, the organization that represents trucking in Kitchener and across Canada, has stated that they’ll continue to push for the establishment of a drug and alcohol testing program for the trucking industry.
The statement came following Canada’s recent federal election, which happened on Oct. 21.
CTA Director of Policy and Public Affairs Jonathan Blackham says that they’ll be talking over with the leaders of government, even the newly-elected ones, making their case for a proper program, and see how things proceed from there.
Canada opted for the legalization of cannabis and cannabis oil back in October 2018, with edible products becoming legal in the same month next year.
Blackham states that, as a result of the legalization, trucking companies across Canada have had to re-evaluate their policies to see what qualifies as impairment. An example would be any company policy that has a clause prohibiting illegal drug use. Blackham notes that that might require adjusting due to the fact that cannabis is no longer illegal.
Some companies that handle trucking in Kitchener and across Canada do have established drug and alcohol policies in place for their operations, which include random drug tests, but such policies are not an actual legal requirement by the Canadian government.
Blackham says that random tests work as deterrents, which makes them good for adding security. He adds that it’s something that the CTA has been asking the Canadian government to implement for a while now, in order to match the regulatory level that the US trucking industry has. Blackham explains that, when the CTA asks for a comprehensive drug and alcohol program, they’re saying that employers want the ability to randomly-test their domestic-only drivers, which Canada’s trucking industry at large simply does not have.
Domestic drivers are drivers that stay in Canada for dispatches, while those that cross the border are counted in the US driver pool. That isn’t an issue as random tests have been a part of US trucking industry regulations for a while.
Blackham has stated that the CTA believe that driving a commercial vehicle carries far more responsibility than most drivers, and that they support the highest standards for sobriety for commercial drivers operating in Canada.