TORONTO, Ont. — Ontario has announced the creation of a task force to improve provincial oversight of the towing industry, mired in turf wars and allegations of price gouging.
“The party is over for the bad actors who are engaged in violence and criminal activity in the towing industry.”
– Premier Doug Ford
force will help develop a regulatory model that will increase safety and
enforcement, clarify protections for consumers, improve industry standards and
consider tougher penalties for violators, the province said Monday.
“The party is over for the bad actors who are engaged in violence and criminal activity in the towing industry,” Premier Doug Ford told his daily Covid-19 briefing.
up this task force will help us bring together experts to develop ways to
better protect drivers, operators and inspectors.”
force, which has already met twice, will review a number of topics related to
the industry, which could include provincial oversight of safety, consumer
protection, improved industry standards, training and background checks.
Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney voiced frustration over continuing violence and other criminal activity in the industry.
incidents are completely unacceptable and pose a threat to the safety of
operators and everyone who uses our highways” she said.
of the task force will include representatives from various ministries as well
as the Ontario Provincial Police.
Once the task force has developed proposals for discussion and comment, it will be consulting with industry, municipalities and public safety experts, the province said.
Trucking Association welcomed the initiative, saying it had been working with various
stakeholders since 2017 to bring change to the sector.
full weight of the provincial government and police forces behind the movement
to bring accountability and transparency to towing, the trucking industry can
be assured we won’t fall victim to the small, but growing, segment of asphalt
pirates who make their living by gouging unsuspecting trucking companies who
are involved in collisions or breakdowns on Ontario highways,” said OTA
chairman David Carruth.
provincial oversight in place, the association said it is confident price
gouging will disappear.
There are about
1,600 tow truck companies registered in the Ministry of Transportation’s
Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) program.
A valid CVOR
certificate is required to operate a tow truck.
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