Toronto

Ontario proposes bill on washroom use for delivery drivers

The legislation would require businesses to let truck drivers, couriers and food delivery workers who pick up or deliver food or other items to use the washrooms.

Legislation would benefit 200,000 truck drivers, couriers and food delivery workers, minister says

A food delivery worker wearing a Foodora delivery pack stands next to a chalkboard business sign on Queen Street West in Toronto on October 20, 2021. The Ontario government is proposing a new law that would give delivery drivers and food couriers the right to use the washrooms at businesses from where they pick up or deliver items. (Carlos Osorio/CBC News)

Ontario is set to introduce legislation that would require businesses to let delivery workers use their washrooms.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said it is a common sense change that will preserve dignity for those workers.

"These workers have been there for all of us during the pandemic," McNaughton said. "We ought to be there for them. It's time we give these drivers a break."

Some businesses have been putting up signs such as "no drivers beyond this point" or "washrooms for team members only," but McNaughton said that truckers and gig workers are team members.

"They answered the call when we needed them the most," he said.

"They stepped up when the demand for deliveries increased, with more people shopping online when we couldn't go into stores, and more families ordering food from their favourite restaurants, when we couldn't go out to eat. You should be treated as heroes for all that you do."

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says the legislation will benefit more than 200,000 workers. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Trucking association supportive

The legislation would apply to businesses where workers such as truck drivers, couriers and food delivery workers are picking up or delivering food or other items.

The Ontario Trucking Association applauded the announcement.

"Our province's truck drivers deserve our respect, our support, our thanks and our best efforts to help them do their jobs so Ontarians can put food on our tables and have access to the goods we need," president and CEO Stephen Laskowski said in a statement.

"We are encouraged this announcement will give truck drivers access to the necessary facilities wherever they may be working."

At the beginning of the pandemic the government ensured rest stops were open to truck drivers for washroom use when they were closed to the general public.

McNaughton said the legislation would apply to more than 200,000 workers.

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