Ontario government threatens large fines, license revocation over protests

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Updated Feb 13, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Feb. 11, 2021:

Ontario leader takes aim at protesters with emergency declaration

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Friday declared a state of emergency in an effort to scale down the protests that have blocked several border crossings in the province through fines and the potential for license revocation.

In a press conference Friday, Ford, who called the protests in Ottawa a “siege” and an “illegal occupation,” said the province will use “legal authorities to urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear it is illegal and punishable to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure.”

Ford said fines for non-compliance with any orders “will be severe, with a maximum penalty of $100,000 and up to a year imprisonment.” Additionally, Ford said Ontario will provide the authority to take away the personal and commercial licenses of drivers who do not comply with the orders.

“While these emergency orders will be temporary, we have every intention to bring new legislation forward that will make these measures permanent in law,” he added.

With some plans underway for potential trucker protests in the U.S. similar to those in Canada, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear on Thursday issued a statement opposing any potential truck driver protests.

“ATA strongly opposes any protest activities that disrupt public safety and compromise the economic and national security of the United States,” Spear said. “We held serious concerns about the unintended impact a vaccine mandate would have on our nation’s supply chain and ongoing COVID response efforts, which is why ATA challenged the OSHA rule all the way to the Supreme Court – where we prevailed.”

The ATA has not challenged the U.S.- and Canadian-imposed vaccine requirements for cross-border commercial haulers, which first sparked the Canadian protests.  

Spear added that his group will continue to advocate for policies that help the trucking industry “keep the supply chain moving, and we’ll do so in ways that do not hinder the safe and timely flow of commerce that everybody depends on.”

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[Related: Owner-operator's maiden voyage back across the Canadian border hits protest backup

Digital brokerage partners with trucker health firm

Digital brokerage Transfix is partnering with the Trucker Fitness Company (TFC) to encourage the best possible health for truck drivers.

By joining forces with TFC, Transfix will provide access to discounted memberships designed to help kickstart drivers' health and wellness journey with the Trucking Fitness Company starting March 1. This will provide drivers access to daily personalized workouts via the TFC app that takes into account their individual current fitness level. The workouts can be done inside the truck, outside of the truck, or even at home.

Additionally, TFC provides a habit-based nutrition coach that partners with the drivers to help them lose weight and gain energy by identifying healthier food options on the road for any food outlet, which is just one more way they're striving to improve drivers' overall health.

St. Christopher Fund receives $50k donation

The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund announced this week it has received a $50,000 donation from a new corporate sponsor, DDC FPO, a strategic business process outsourcing (BPO) partner for the transportation and logistics industries.

“We are thrilled to receive such a generous donation and have the support of a company like DDC FPO, that recognizes the trucking industry is the backbone of our economy and professional drivers are the heart of the industry,” said SCF Director of Philanthropy Shannon Currier. “Thank you DDC FPO team for joining our mission and for being a hero to our highway heroes.”

SCF is a nationwide nonprofit that provides short-term relief to truck drivers suffering from an illness or injury that took them out of work.  

“Working in this industry, we understand the critical role that transportation plays in both the global economy as well as in individuals’ daily lives and well-being,” said Madison Conway, DDC FPO’s Global Marketing Director. “The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund takes care of the very special group of people who make it all possible, our truck drivers and their families, when they need it most. It is our honor to support you in this effort.”

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