“More relief” in sight for truckers and delivery drivers

Transport trucks parked in a row. (Photo from Pxhere)

A year after truckers made news about inaccessible washroom facilities, the Province of Ontario intends to improve the situation with new legislation.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announced on Wednesday morning that he intends to introduce legislation that would allow for improved washroom access for truck drivers, couriers, and delivery drivers at the locations of their drop offs and pick ups.

Research done by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee indicates that those drivers, including food delivery drivers, are often denied the use of washrooms at businesses they serve.

“This is something most people in Ontario take for granted but access to washrooms is a matter of common decency currently being denied to hundreds of thousands of workers in this province,” said McNaughton. “Workers who deliver and pick up goods have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, ensuring that essential supplies continue to reach the people of Ontario. Providing these hardworking men and women with access to washrooms is a small change that will make a big difference, so they can do their jobs with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

The province opened additional rest stops at the beginning of the pandemic to give truck drivers more places to safely stop.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Trucking Association Stephen Laskowski is grateful for the move.

“The Ontario Trucking Association is extremely thankful to Monte McNaughton for recognizing our drivers as the true heroes they are and encouraging everyone in the supply chain to do their part in treating drivers with respect. The Minister saw a problem and implemented a solution that will no doubt serve as a model for other jurisdictions across North America,” said Laskowski.

The province reported that in 2020, on average, 203,700 people in Ontario were working as transport, bus, taxi and delivery drivers and on average, 30,800 people in Ontario were working as mail, couriers, messengers and door-to-door distributors.

McNaughton said if the legislation is approved, the new measures would only be applicable at businesses where truckers, couriers, or food delivery workers are picking up or delivering food or other items and would not apply to private homes or residences.