New federal semi-truck driver regulations to come into effect in January 2020

Tranport Minister Marc Garneau made announcement at ministers gathering in Montreal on Monday

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced the development of federal standard entry level training for semi-truck drivers at a news conference on January 21, 2019. (CBC)

New regulations for semi-truck driver training will take effect across Canada about a year from now, the federal government says.

However, the details of what will be in those new rules has yet to be determined.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau made the announcement at a transport ministers meeting in Montreal on Monday. 

Garneau said minimum entry-level semi-truck driver training standards will be developed for next January. 

Garneau said the body of the Canadian Council of Motor Transportation Administrators (CCMTA) will be developing the standards and will look at what is currently being done in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

The standard entry training will then be put into the National Safety Code to recognize the importance of training for truck drivers, Garneau said. 

"This will ensure that future truck drivers across Canada have the knowledge and skills that they need to safely operate these vehicles," Garneau said.

Garneau said he and his provincial and territorial counterparts all remember the Humboldt Broncos bus crash of April 6, 2018.

Sixteen people died when the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team's bus collided with a semi-truck near Nipawin, Sask. Thirteen others were injured.

Garneau said the proposed changes are all about safety.

The wreckage of a fatal crash outside of Tisdale, Sask., is seen Saturday, April, 7, 2018. A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team en route to Nipawin for a game Friday night collided with a semi-trailer, killing 16 and injuring 13 others. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

"People who received their licence as drivers of semi-trailers and large vehicles should be properly prepared through training before they assume those duties," Garneau said.

"We all agree amongst each other that we need to do this so I'm confident that we will have a good national training standard," Garneau said.

This comes after more than 2,100 people signed a petition for mandatory semi-truck driver training. The petition was started by Pattie Fair, a widow whose husband died in a crash with a semi in March 2017.

The petition was sponsored by Saskatchewan MP Kelly Block and posted to the official House of Commons website a week ago.

Saskatchewan's Minister of Transportation Lori Carr co-chaired the Council of Ministers meeting. She said safety and competitiveness were the most important topics.

"That the minimum level entry training for truck drivers is so important to us," she said. "This was really, truly brought to light in the province of Saskatchewan when the Humboldt Broncos crash took place."

"Now we're looking forward to working with all of the provinces right across Canada to ensure that those rules and regulations are very similar," she said. "We are truly one big country and you go from province to province so the same rules should apply to everybody."

Heidi Atter · CBC News · Posted: Jan 21, 2019 7:58 PM CT | Last Updated: January 22

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