The New Democrat MPP for our region is calling on Premier Doug Ford to help independent truckers in the north. Mushkegowuk-James Bay MPP Guy Bourgouin tabled a private members motion last week in Queen’s Park asking the Ford Government to commit to a truck owner-operator strategy to cover a number of areas including driver shortages and insurance.

“From comments from owner operators they are saying that their insurance is up 122 per cent and some even more than that,” he said. “They’re having problems getting their letter of reference. Insurance companies are giving them a hard time.”

Bourgouin says Northern Ontario depends on local drivers and small family-owned trucking businesses to get products to market. He adds the trucks have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic and now they need help to survive.

He adds some small trucking companies have gone from five trucks to just one because of the costs.

“But that means though that families who usually have sons or daughters that want to take on the family business, they are walking away,” he said. “They say why would I go to an industry that is dying because of insurance companies and because of the other areas too that I outlined in my motion.”

Bourgouin says support for his motion is gain support from other MPPs who are hearing similar concerns.