The variety of high-quality electronic printing and processing available in recent years may be one of the factors that is making fraudulent practices possible in the Trucking industry, says Trucking Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) president Philip Fletcher.
“It’s a legal nightmare,” Fletcher says. “There is a large degree of fraud enacted in our segment of the industry at this particular time, both for airbrake certifications, as well as renewals. And obviously, in these cases, somebody is sidestepping every one of the many existing barriers and fabricating information to make it look legitimate.”
Fletcher spoke to Road Warrior News in the context of the fraudulent Truck training schools case which will proceed in Ottawa’s criminal court on April 5th.
“There are so many hurdles required for any legitimate Trucking business to get over, I can’t believe that so many barriers would be bypassed in order to get the product of these fake schools on the road,” he says. “This case just gives a horrendous view of what may be occurring out on the roads and might explain some of the major problems we have these days.
“Our members meet the requirement for schools; the rigours of inspection and certification; requirement for licensing. Carriers have to see proof of license validation for any drivers that they hire. Obviously, in some cases, somebody is intentionally sidestepping every one of the legal requirements and fabricating information to make it look legitimate. It’s almost unbelievable.”
(Similar concerns about the potential use of false documentation were raised by a Truck driver examiner in a RWN feature last summer, “Confessions of a Small Town Driver-Examiner.”)
Fletcher offers thanks and congratulations to the Ontario Provincial Police and the Sûreté de Quebec for their work in identifying the individuals charged with providing fraudulent training and documentation. “The police have done a great job in investigating and enforcing; a fantastic job. The fact that the Canadian Border Services was involved makes me think they probably caught some of these guys at the border, which is also good to know,” he notes.
Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the agency responsible for accrediting private career colleges, has not responded to requests for information from Road Warrior News. This article will be updated with comment from MCU if it is received.