Sunday, September 24, 2023

Toby Boulet voices opposition to different training rules for ag industry semi-drivers

The father of a young hockey player, killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, says it’s fundamentally wrong for the province to relax new training rules for semi-drivers in certain industries.

Alberta farmers are pushing the government to exempt the agriculture industry, claiming the new licensing standards brought in after the crash last year, are jeopardizing their finances and ability to attract and retain employees.

The training program requires 113 hours and can cost up to $10,000.

Lethbridge’s Toby Boulet, who lost his son Logan in the crash, says he doesn’t understand why the UCP is even going down this road after the party supported the new requirements when they were brought in by the former NDP government.

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He says he’s not picking a fight with the ag industry but says lessening the standards for a certain group of people is wrong, posting on Twitter Monday that he’d love to hear the views of the Agriculture Minister “and the views of any other who are placing the value of a truck full of grain over my son’s life.

Boulet says it’s a matter of safety for everyone who uses Alberta’s roads and highways.

As for other suggestions to help alleviate the training costs, Boulet says a friend of his who owns a trucking company in Lethbridge, believes honouring semi-drivers with a trades ticket might be one option.

He says as tradespeople, drivers would be able to access Employment Insurance while they trained to become professionally certified.

Boulet has spoken with Lethbridge East UCP MLA Nathan Neudorf as well as Lethbridge West NDP MLA Shannon Phillips and he says both are “on the side of safety.”

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