For the past few years I have had the opportunity to be the Chairman of the Board of the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO). In a short period of time with a dedicated board and a committed membership we have accomplished many things. Without a doubt one of the biggest accomplishments we have had is to the leadership role we played with industry and government regarding Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) in Ontario for AZ entry level drivers, the first type of regulation and legislation in its kind in North America. We were happy to play such a key role in this process, there is still some work to do and holes to be filled for our new government.
The TTSAO and its board, on behalf of its membership will go to work starting August 14th with meetings with the key people with in the Ministry of Transportation at Queens Park. From the industries perspective there needs to be some more items addressed;
- The need for mandatory entry level driver training for all commercial licences.
- The need for mandatory education for commercial instructors.
- Alternatives for the delivery of commercial testing.
- The need to raise the $40.00 Cap on tuition for Ministry of Training colleges and Universities (MTCU) approved commercial truck driving schools.
In reference to the $40.00 cap issue by government it is time for the leadership at MTCU to stop talking and react to the problem that is having an adverse effect and impact of delivery of quality education to entry level students. To put it in perspective there has been a $40.00 cap on tuition since the fall of 2009, zero increase in tuition. The cost of wages, fuel, insurance, maintenance and other items have increased significantly but the cap on tuition has remained the same for Private Career Colleges. It just doesn’t make sense. I wonder if these same decision makers would work for a decade with no increase to them, not likely. It’s time to be addressed and come mid September when we meet with MTCU leadership let’s hope they understand.
We have had tremendous support from the all sectors of the industry for all of the above and our association and stakeholder partners will work diligently to continue to improve the transportation industry and road safety by working with government to ensure we are doing the right thing.
There is an old Chinese proverb; talking does not cook rice. There is still some work to do. It’s time to cook rice.