The MTA is pleased to announce that its advocacy efforts in the early part of 2019 are really going to pay off for members.
The first win for members is that companies no longer have to change plates as a result of recent licensing changes undertaken by MPI. The cost savings associated with this are in the tens of thousands of dollars as carriers no longer have to courier plates to MPI for replacement. More on this item can be found on page seven of this newsletter.
The second item is that we very recently had a positive meeting with the Minister of Education regarding the driver training funding program. We feel that we will likely see an extension of that program beyond the current deadline of March 31, 2019. What that extension looks like, or when it will be implemented is still to be determined; however, the government recognizes the value that this program brought to Manitobans and Manitoba’s economy.
Both of these items will have significant impacts on our industry: one for significantly reducing the administrative burden of collecting, returning, and replacing the plates of commercial trucks licensed out of Manitoba, and the other for investing in new, well-trained drivers for the future of our industry.
The MTA’s advocacy efforts are ramping up in other areas, too, including:
Lots of work has gone into it, but there is little progress on this one. At the end of 2018, the MTA applied to the federal government for joint funding with the province. Then, the provincial government created the Transportation Sector Working Group, as part of the Climate and Green Plan. MTA’s initiative was again placed under consideration, and scored highest among all proposed environmental initiatives in the province.
However, in spite of both levels of government being aware of and being in favour of the GrEEEner Trucking Efficiency Initiative, the MTA has yet to actually receive approval (and therefore funding) to implement the program.
MELT and Driver Training Funding
Consultations with industry began in January on Mandatory Entry Level Training. Many MTA members were in attendance at these meetings in Winnipeg and Brandon. The MTA anticipates that the current standard of 240 hours of training will be phased out, but what that will be replaced with is really anyone’s guess. As such, the association will continue to advocate for a meaningful training standard for our industry’s drivers.