Manitoba paving the way for mandatory training for commercial truck drivers

The province will seek the industry's input on entry-level training for truck drivers next month, the Manitoba government announced Wednesday.

Consultation sessions next month in Winnipeg, Brandon

The Manitoba government is driving toward a standardized system of mandatory training and certification for commercial truck drivers. (Nelly Gonzalez/CBC)

Just days after the provincial government in neighbouring Saskatchewan announced mandatory training for commercial truck drivers, the Manitoba government says it's moving forward with consultations on training requirements here.

The province will seek the industry's input on entry-level training next month, the Manitoba government announced Wednesday.

Educators in Manitoba already provide training approved by Manitoba Public Insurance, but new drivers are not required to take it. 

The Manitoba Trucking Association has promoted the idea of mandatory training for years. 

"This concept is not novel, it's not radical, it's just long overdue for transport truck drivers," executive director Terry Shaw told CBC News this spring.

On Monday, Saskatchewan Government Insurance — the Crown insurer in Saskatchewan — announced mandatory training requirements in that province for people looking to test for a licence to drive semi-trailer trucks.

Manitoba has previously said the introduction of training here is not due to the April bus crash in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. Sixteen people were killed and 13 injured in a collision between the team's bus and a semi.

In April, the Manitoba government enlisted Manitoba Education and Training and Manitoba Public Insurance to come up with a driver training foundation for semi-trailer trucks.

Early in the new year, those consultation sessions will expand to include industry partners and other stakeholders, the province announced Wednesday.

The sessions will take place Jan. 7 in Winnipeg and Jan. 10 in Brandon. Times and locations have not been announced.

Manitoba Infrastructure staff will evaluate training standards, approaches to out-of-province drivers and the scope of individuals who require this training, the province said.