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MANITOBA


New Provincial driver training funding program unveiled

On Jan. 11, the MTA hosted member companies and representatives from the Manitoba government to discuss new driver training funding opportunities within the province. Over the past five years, through the Skills Development Program, Skills and Employment Partnerships has supported (on average) over 150 trainees/year at a cost of over $900, 000/year. However, after consultations with the MTA, Skills & Employment Partnerships revised its policy for supporting truck driver training to support the trucking industry in meeting the real demand for drivers and to increase trainee employment and retention outcomes. Items on the agenda included expectations of employers, applicant qualifications, and government commitments to training.

For members interested in using this program, employer expectations include
• act in good faith and ensure a job exists for each signed letter
• undertake proper due diligence by
• undergoing regular hiring processes
– conducting thorough interviews
– properly assessing each candidate for aptitude and suitability.

Some criteria as outlined by the province (such as that in the above) were unexpected. MTA staff are working diligently to better understand or to remove this criteria but it is the policy as it currently stands.
For more information about this program, contact Danielle at the MTA office.

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MTA attends industry forums in Montreal
At the end of 2017, representatives from the MTA attended two forums in Montreal and brought up industry concerns. At the first, the CVSA North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum, shipper responsibility was a hot topic among attendees. At the second, The National Task Force on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions Policy, one of the topics of discussion was lift-gates. Specifically, there was discussion surrounding having rail-mounted lift-gates be classified as auxiliary non-load bearing equipment (similar to aerodynamic devices such as boat tails), which would allow them to be used on 53' trailers. Under current weights and dimensions regulations, they are not permitted.

A decision is forthcoming on this item; if you have any questions, please contact Aaron Dolyniuk or Terry Shaw at the MTA office: 204-632-6600.

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Driverless cars to get test-drive in Manitoba
The province is working on legislation to pave the way for testing driverless vehicles on Manitoba provincial highways, perhaps as soon as the fall. With the first autonomous vehicles heading to Canadian car lots later this year, Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler met with his counterparts from across the country Monday to prepare.

He says he endorsed a report “agreeing to develop a strategy to facilitate their testing and overall integration on public roads.” Schuler said it’s time to start embracing the coming technology. “It’s coming very quickly and certainly we want to be on the forefront of this, we want to allow for it, so for instance maybe want to do a test run from Calgary to Toronto. We want to be part of that,” Schuler said.

While each province must have its own legislative and regulatory framework in place to allow for testing autonomous vehicles, Schuler said the federal government has to create national and international guidelines as well. Schuler said there are still major unknowns as the technology for driverless vehicles advances. “The point where everybody gets hung up on is responsibility. If a driverless vehicle injures somebody or somebody dies in an accident and there was an autonomous vehicle, who’s responsible in that vehicle?”

Manitoba’s infrastructure minister said the other unknown is the vehicles themselves. “Nobody’s too sure what the final products are going to look like. So we are all having these conversations and it is time we allow some testing to take place so everybody can have a look at it and say, ‘OK,’ that’s what it’s going to look like,” Schuler said.

According to the MTA, the sector employs over 28,000 people in the province and contributes more than $2 billion to the provincial economy.

Schuler said he’s aware the impact the new technology could have on trucking, but he says Manitoba has to adapt and get on board with the changes. “The market is going to change and what it will change to will be incredibly dynamic. I’m not too sure people will lose their jobs as much as their jobs are going to change,” Schuler said.

He said autonomous vehicles are coming fast and he wants to Manitoba to embrace them.
Source: CBC News

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Bison Transport named ‘Best Fleet to Drive For’ by TCA, CarriersEdge
For the eighth year, Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and driver training company, CarriersEdge have recognized Winnipeg-based Bison Transport as one of the ‘Best Fleets to Drive For.’

Bison is among 20 for-hire trucking companies across North America that are recognized for providing exemplary work environments for their professional drivers and employees. Only four Canadian fleets were honoured, the other three being based in Ontario.

To be considered for the Best Fleets program, companies are required to receive a nomination from at least one of its company drivers or owner-operators. They are then evaluated against a scoring matrix covering a range of categories including total compensation package, health benefits, pension plans, professional development opportunities and more.

“It's not easy to be named one of the Best Fleets to Drive For,” said John Lyboldt, TCA president. “It simultaneously requires commitment to an individual carrier's operations and a vision for the future of the industry as a whole.”

Bison has continuously demonstrated a commitment to providing an outstanding work environment for professional drivers and owner-operators.

“Our team is consistently named North America’s Safest Fleet and we credit our professional drivers with maintaining that reputation,” said Garth Pitzel, Bison Transport’s director of safety and driver development. “We are pleased to be recognized for providing a leading workplace in the trucking industry.”

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New MTA members welcomed
The MTA welcomes PVS Transport as a new Carrier Member and Alan’s Driving School, Continental Tire Canada, Coughlin Insurance Brokers, Evotrux, Supremex Inc. and Transtax Services as new Associate Trades Division Members.

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