Manitoba to consult industry on mandatory training for new truck drivers

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government plans to hold meetings next month to find out what industry thinks about the idea of requiring new truck drivers to receive training.

The province says it began looking at mandatory entry-level training for truck drivers in April — the same month of the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan.

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Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler says the trucking industry supports mandatory training, but such a move would affect many sectors of the economy, including agriculture.

Government staff are already looking at training standards and how Manitoba would deal with drivers from other jurisdictions.

Saskatchewan and Alberta plan to require minimum training for new Class 1 truck drivers starting March 1.

Manitoba has not set a date for when its plan will kick in, but has set consultation meetings for Jan. 7 in Winnipeg and Jan. 10 in Brandon.

"We want to hear from Manitobans and ensure this proposed change focuses on safety in collaboration with industry," Schuler said Wednesday.

Schuler said Manitoba wants a plan that would bring it in line with other provinces.

Ontario is currently the only province that has mandatory truck driver training.

The semi-trailer involved in the Broncos crash was owned by Sukhmander Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking in Calgary.

He faces eight charges relating to non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations for alleged offences which occurred before the April crash.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who was driving the truck, was charged earlier this year with numerous counts of dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

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