Thursday, June 20, 2024
Ontario Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria officially opened the new $30 million inspection station near Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photo: @PrabSarkaria

Sarkaria retains Transportation portfolio

Industry pleased Minister is returning after Cabinet shuffle

Ontario Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria retained his portfolio in the Cabinet shuffle announced by Premier Doug Ford on June 6th.

However, Associate Minister Vijay Thanigasalam was moved to become Associate Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. No new Associate Transportation Minister was named in Ontario’s press release.

“TTSAO is very pleased to see that Minister Sarkaria will remain in Transportation. We are standing by, fully ready to support him in his announced review of truck driver training. It is very helpful that he will stay on to continue this important work,” says Philip Fletcher, president of Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario.

“We will miss Associate Minister Thanigasalam, though, we appreciated him very much and wish him well at Housing.”

On May 16th, Minister Sarkaria announced that Ontario “plans to lead a comprehensive review of commercial driver training,” an idea widely supported by Trucking industry members.

Philip Fletcher, President, TTSAO Photo: TTSAO

Specific changes detailed in the May 16 announcement included:

Strengthening enforcement of commercial vehicle safety: Increase Ministry of Transportation Enforcement Officers’ (TEOs) auth.ority to deliver the Ministry’s commercial vehicle enforcement program. This includes permitting TEOs to exceed posted speed limits for enforcement purposes, requiring traffic to pull over for MTO enforcement vehicles when lights and signals are flashing, and enabling TEOs to seize fraudulent or suspended driver’s licences.

Reviewing commercial driver training: The government plans to lead a comprehensive review of commercial driver training to identify gaps and areas for improvement. The review will include holding provincewide stakeholder roundtables to seek industry and public feedback on measures to improve road safety.”