Canada’s Liberal government recently released their now-tabled federal budget. It featured a number of items that could impact the trucking and logistics industry. Trucking HR Canada (THRC) compiled a list of relevant items in the budget that could impact several areas of operation.
The 2019 Federal budget includes $1.7 billion in training benefits over five years. All Canadians between the ages of 25-65, with incomes between $10,000-$150,000 CAD, will be provided $250 a year, with a lifetime maximum of $5,000. THRC points out that this tax credit will improve access to training for all Canadians.
The budget also includes an EI Training Support Benefit, which will provide income support for up to 4 weeks paid leave. It is meant to support any living expenses of workers who need to take time off work for training, such as new drivers training for their commercial driver's license.
Despite offering equal pay, women drivers are still underrepresented in trucking. This is slowly changing and in the 2019 Federal budget, they now offering incentives to attract more women to the industry.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) is set to receive $5 million over 5 years to develop a strategy to better monitor gender disparity and underrepresented groups across skill programs, including trucking. There is also $100 million allocated to promote greater equity within the workforce. THRC and women truckers are looking to pilot initiatives to increase the number of females within the trucking and logistics sector.
The trucking industry has been facing a driver shortage for a few years. An aging demographic of workers has exasperated this issue, but attracting younger drivers isn’t an easy task. In the US a new bill was introduced to Congress to lower the age restriction on truck drivers in hopes of attracting a new generation to the industry.
Canada’s federal budget is aiming to attract youth to skilled trades as well. They are allocating $49.5 million over 5 years to launch a modernized Youth Employment Strategy. This will include increased support for young Canadians facing barriers to entering and staying in the workforce. THRC states that as “the trucking and logistics sector looks to better attract and recruit young people, we will continue our leadership in this area, and identify funding opportunities for our industry.”
Canadian trucking companies should be excited by the new federal budget. There are a number of items in it that will help expand the industry. Here at TRAFFIX, we are happy to see items addressing underrepresented groups in the industry such as younger drivers and women.