The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) wants Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) enforcement against Driver Inc. to escalate dramatically. CTA president Stephen Laskowski told TruckNews.com that it is time for hard, fast, national enforcement from a tax, and labor code perspective.
Driver Inc. is a business model using employee misclassification where they register as companies, allowing trucking companies to not pay their fair share of taxes and source deductions.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association’s annual general meeting and conference in Moncton, N.B., on Oct. 19, Laskowski urged industry members to participate in the stopdriverinc.ca campaign. When a person signs up, a letter is sent to their member of parliament and various ministers, asking for a meeting, and seeking dramatic increase in hard enforcement by CRA.
He added that the CRA introduced an educational campaign on personal services business (PSB) which is the “legal” definition of Driver Inc. “There is nothing wrong with PSB if you are filing properly, the issue is no one is filing as PSB,” Laskowski said. If everyone in the industry speaks through this campaign, reinforcing that action needs to happen, the government will listen, he added.
Express entry program
Addressing the driver shortage issue, Laskowski said immigration is a key solution. He thanked the federal government for recognizing the importance of the truck driving profession and putting drivers into the Express Entry program – a path to permanent residency and citizenship.
The CTA will ask the government to make truck drivers and mechanics a priority for the program in 2023. The alliance will also seek a screening process for trucking companies applying for these drivers and mechanics to be brought into the country. The screening should be no different from when a company goes through a ministry of transportation safety inspection. The CTA wants the trucking companies to be labor-compliant, hire the workers as employees and protect their labor rights.
When asked about how these new entrants could be kept away from the temptation of Driver Inc., Laskowski stressed education and awareness are important. A worker starting with companies that follow the law, are labor-compliant, focus on safety, and treat employees with dignity and respect, will look upon Driver Inc. less favorably, he said.