Brampton: Mayor Patrick Brown of Brampton has sent a letter to Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney on behalf of the entire Brampton City Council asking the government to work with the dump truck industry in regards to the ongoing dispute over SPIF regulations.
“Dump truck drivers are among the essential workers who help build our roads, hospitals, critical infrastructure and housing, keeping our economy moving.
“The announcement of the effective date for these measures was made a little over a year ago during the COVID-19 pandemic, and notifications to operators were only sent by the Ministry of Transportation very recently.
The industry’s dedicated professionals are impacted by the global pandemic, experiencing a reduction in work and income of approximately 25%.
“I do not believe the regulatory amendment’s objective was to further impact the industry’s financial well-being,” wrote Mayor Brown.
The Ministry of Transportation regulations (SPIF – Safe Productive and Infrastructure Friendly) which took effect Jan 1, 2021 require dump trucks older than 15 years to operate at reduced capacity, undergo expensive retrofits costing up to $40,000 or get off the road.
The existing trucks pose no public safety risk as the measures are designed mainly to reduce wear and tear on roads and save costs. Other categories of impacted trucks (cement trucks, fuel trailers) have been accommodated to allow them to operate for 20-25 years, closer to their full life span. Only the dump trucks have not been accommodated.
The motion to have council write the letter was put forward by Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon at a committee of council where it received support from all members including Mayor Brown.
“We thank Mayor Brown, Councillor Dhillon and their colleagues for intervening to alert Minister Mulroney of the need to help working people who have been hit by this unnecessary red tape in the middle of a pandemic,” says the Ontario Dump Truck Association (ODTA).
“The vast majority of our members are independent owner operators. Without their trucks they can’t work and feed their families.”
The letter calls on Minister Mulroney and the Ministry of Transportation to “…engage with Ontario Dump Truck Association to address issues associated with the SPIF-complaint axel legislation and work toward viable solutions.”