Ontario aims to mandate washroom access for truckers, delivery drivers

October 20, 2021

Greg Grisolano

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The Ontario government is putting forth a measure that would mandate washroom access for truckers and delivery drivers at businesses where they are picking up or delivering.

The provincial government announced the proposed legislation via news release on Wednesday, Oct. 20. The legislation comes after consultations conducted by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee indicated that couriers, truck drivers, and other delivery service providers are often denied use of a washroom 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,” Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labor, said in the news release. “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 proposal was met with broad approval by the trucking industry.

“This proposed legislation just goes to show, if you repeat yourself often enough to the right people, something eventually comes to fruition,” Johanne Couture, an OOIDA board member from Brockville, Ontario, said. “Ontario tends to be a leader in meaningful legislation, the (Ontario Premier Doug) Ford government has been very supportive of our industry and recognized that some of our issues were ongoing before the pandemic, this being one of them.

“Now, if we can get similar action on truck parking, we’ll be on the right track,” she said.

OOIDA also applauded the proposal and encouraged lawmakers in the U.S. to follow Ontario’s lead.

“Even before the pandemic, drivers had been turned away from accessing basic amenities at facilities where they were making deliveries,” Jay Grimes, OOIDA director of federal affairs, said. “Unfortunately, this malpractice has only heightened over the last 18 months with many truckers unable to even use the bathroom at most places.”

At the start of the pandemic, Ontario’s government opened additional rest stops for truckers to provide them with more places to safely stop and keep critical products moving.

The proposed washroom access new measures only apply to businesses where truck drivers, couriers or food delivery workers are picking up or delivering food or other items. The new measures would not be applicable to businesses where drivers are not delivering or picking up items from or to private residences. LL

 

TBS

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.