“The costs involved for drivers is outrageous,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “We need dialogue about a policy that doesn’t financially ruin dozens of truckers.”
The Port of Vancouver has been trying to issue a ban on trucks older than 12 years but the deadline has been pushed back several times. Unifor requested more extensive consultations with drivers to find a mutually agreeable timeline, but ultimately the union was forced to seek relief in the courts and has been lobbying the government.
The Port’s latest deadline extension announced on February 23, 2023 was applauded by the federal transportation minister, who blamed the “Harper-Poilievre Government” and pledged to work with container truckers on a solution.
“In 2014 when we met with Conservative transportation minister Lisa Raitt, truckers pleaded with her to stop this policy,” said McGarrigle. “Pierre Poilievre didn’t say a word to support truckers in 2014 when it mattered. While we welcome his sudden change of heart, truckers cannot trust Poilievre to stand up for workers’ rights when it matters.”
The union says a two-year pause to the phase-out and access to financial assistance would start to ease concerns.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.