British Columbia officials: Company’s cancellation is ‘in the interest of safety’

February 16, 2024

Ryan Witkowski


A trucking company’s ability to operate in British Columbia has been brought to a halt.

On Friday, Feb. 16, the province’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure issued a formal cancellation notice to Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd. The cancellation prohibits the carrier from operating its 65-truck fleet within British Columbia.

Rob Fleming, British Columbia minister of transportation and infrastructure, said the cancellation of Chohan’s safety certificate was “in the interest of safety.”

“This is the most severe action that can be taken against a company with multiple infractions – and it sends a clear message to operators that infrastructure crashes around our province need to stop,” Fleming said in a statement. “It has never been easier to follow a route to guide a load safely through our highway system and avoid the potential for impact with infrastructure.”

The company’s safety certificate had been suspended since Dec. 28, following an incident in which a truck owned by Chohan struck an overpass. According to the province’s Commercial Vehicle Bridge/Overpass Crash Report, the most recent incident was the company’s sixth infrastructure crash since Feb. 12, 2022.

Chohan did not respond to Land Line’s request for comment regarding the cancellation.

Last week, the trucking company filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia asking the court either to overturn the suspension or have the province issue a formal notice of cancellation so it could move forward with an appeal. In its petition, Chohan claimed the suspension had cost the company in excess of $1 million per week.

“We know the vast majority of commercial drivers in B.C. operate safely and responsibly,” Fleming said. “This decision, issued by the independent director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch, follows changes that allow for progressive enforcement of suspensions to better deal with those few companies and drivers who are not being safe and responsible.”

The changes to which Fleming alluded came in December 2022, when the British Columbia government announced higher fines and stricter penalties – including the “potential suspension and possible cancellation” of a company’s safety certificate – for carriers involved in infrastructure crashes.

Fines for carriers were increased to the maximum allowed by current legislation and are now the highest of their kind in the country. Despite this, the province said it is “reviewing potential legislative changes” that could increase those fine amounts even more.

“The immediate suspensions and the significant cost they bring to a company will be a permanent tool,” the ministry said. “However, repeat offenders will face longer suspensions and may have their certificate to operate in B.C. revoked.”

According to a monthly bulletin published by CVSE, Chohan is the 18th carrier in British Columbia to be canceled for cause and given an “unsatisfactory” rating over the past 36 months.

Chohan now will have a chance to appeal the cancellation at a show-cause hearing conducted by the director of CVSE. LL