Our Two Cents
Let's Push Transport Canada Toward ELD Enforcement Deferral
Another month has ticked by without a word from Transport Canada on deferring the Canadian ELD deadline of June 12, 2021. As of that date, all interprovincial carriers are required to have a certified ELD in their trucks. As of February 1, there are still no certified ELDs available to be purchased in Canada.
With about four months remaining until hard enforcement is scheduled to begin, carriers and owner-operators from the U.S. and Canada simply do not have enough time to make an informed decision of the purchase of ELDs. Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada is urging all concerned drivers, owner-operators and fleets to send a letter to transport minister, Omar Alghabra, urging him to defer the enforcement deadline for at least six months (see below).
"This needs to be continually brought up until regulators take their head out of the sand and take a serious look at the dire state the industry is being put in by their unrealistic timelines," Millian says. "Their lack of meaningful dialogue or public acknowledgement of the issue with industry in addressing these concerns indicates the message has yet to sink in."
The Canadian ELD Regulation was posted in Canada Gazette Part 2 on June 12th of 2019 with a compliance date of June 12th of 2021. As former transport minister, Marc Garneau said at the time, “The two-year implementation period may seem quick for some truck owners, but I want to reassure you that this period will allow them enough time to set up and install the devices."
I guess he wasn't think about possible delays in finalizing the technical standards for the devices and setting up the certification process. The name of the so far one and only certification body wasn't announced until October 26, 2020, fully 16 months after the day the mandate was officially announced.
That left carriers just eight months to research, purchase, install and train workers on the use of the devices, but then ELD suppliers that may have been close to or ready to apply for certification at that time were then broadsided with what was then described as a "significant change" to the ELD technical standard. That meant they would had to go back and determine if their devices met the new standard.
Fleets and owner-operators now using various ELD devices must be aware that those devices - despite being allowed in the U.S. and presently accepted in Canada - will no longer be considered legal in Canada after June 12 until they a certified. It's highly likely that a large number of device providers may decide not to bother pursuing certification in Canada for various reasons. That will leave a potentially large number of ELD users scrambling to source certified devices before the June 12.
Many associations, including OBAC, have joined forces with the PMTC and have written Transport Canada asking for an enforcement deferral as a result of the lack of readiness, born out of TC’s own failures to meet appropriate deadlines.
"Their response to date has been inadequate and bears no resemblance to the reality of the situation, Millian says. "Garneau's earlier pledge, 'We are on time, committed to road safety and prepared to meet this mandate by June 12th of 2021,' is nowhere close to reality, and quite simply, cannot be achieved based on our current situation, without causing severe chaos and damage to the industry."
If you want to make your concern heard, please click here to access the form letter to be sent to the federal transport minister, and insert your company details, your name, and your contact info. The more voices that are heard, the harder it will become to ignored.