TORONTO: Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca, who was the longest-serving Transportation Minister in a quarter-century, has spoken out in support of the Ontario dump truck industry coalition and its dontdumponus.ca campaign.
“During my time as Transportation Minister I became well acquainted with the hard-working members of the dump truck industry and while we didn’t always agree, we worked together,” says Del Duca.
“In fact in 2016 our government signed an agreement calling for joint resolutions on matters related to SPIF and the industry. It’s disappointing to see that agreement has not been honoured by Doug Ford and these job killing requirements have been imposed, in the middle of a pandemic, without collaboration, communication or consultation.”
The agreement was signed with the involvement of ministry officials, lawyers, the minister’s office and industry stakeholders. The SPIF program was put under review.
The SPIF rules in dispute took effect in January 2021 and require dump trucks more than 15 years old to undergo expensive axle retrofits ($20,000 – $40,000), operate at significantly reduced loads, or get off the road. The measures (SPIF -Safe Productive Infrastructure Friendly) are designed to reduce road wear and the trucks are regularly inspected for safety.
The SPIF compliant axles are mandatory in trucks manufactured from 2011 on. More than 1000 dump trucks manufactured prior are now deemed noncompliant. The measures apply only to four categories of trucks used mainly in the construction industry.
The coalition is asking for the older trucks to be grandfathered for their full life span as other impacted trucks such as cement trucks and fuel trailers have been (20-25 years).
Only the dump trucks have not been accommodated. “I’ve heard from many individual drivers, trucking companies, and some of the largest construction companies, that these measures are impacting their livelihoods and will wreak havoc on the entire construction industry,” says Orléans MPP and Ontario Liberal Transportation Critic, Stephen Blais.
“Doug Ford claims to be “for the people” and against red tape, but he is burying these workers in unnecessary regulations. The trucks pose a low safety risk, it’s time to let these essential workers get back to work.”
The dump truck industry coalition is calling on supporters to contact their local MPP, sign their petition and ask Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Premier Doug Ford to work with the industry to address its concerns.
For more information: www.dontdumponus.ca