Enforcement of Canada’s ELD mandate to be phased in over a year

Transport Canada has reaffirmed its commitment to a June 12 rollout of Canada’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, but with a “progressive enforcement period” lasting 12 months.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra issued a statement, saying “As Minister of Transport, I am firmly committed to this timeline – these devices will further strengthen road safety in Canada. At the same time, the impact of Covid-19 on commercial vehicle operations has been unprecedented and must be acknowledged. As such, with the support of provinces and territories, and in consultation with industry, we will work together on the successful and effective implementation of a progressive enforcement period. This will give sufficient time for industry to obtain and install certified electronic logging devices without penalty as of June 12, 2021. Early enforcement measures will consist of education and awareness.”

He urged carriers to equip their trucks with ELDs “as soon as reasonably possible.”

The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) has been imploring Transport Canada to phase in enforcement of the mandate. Its president, Mike Millian, welcomed today’s announcement.

“The PMTC is very pleased with Transport Canada’s commitment to phase in enforcement, beginning with education and awareness only at the beginning,” he told Today’s Trucking. “The PMTC has been very vocal asking for an enforcement deferral to allow industry and suppliers time to select from an adequate list of approved devices.”

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) also commended Alghabra, noting it submitted to the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety a strategy for a 12-month, phased-in enforcement approach for third-party certified ELDs beginning in June.

CTA says its recommendations include “meaningful and gradual enforcement” of the regulation, over the course of 12 months. Full enforcement will commence in June 2022.

“The CTA enforcement strategy provides the people of Canada with the safety benefits they have come to expect and deserve from this regulation, which will allow the full benefits of ELDs to come to fruition within in 12 months,” said CTA chairman Jean Claude Fortin. “The strategy reflects the realities of transitioning to third-party certified ELDs and ensures a smooth 12-month transition from paper logbooks to electronic devices for ELD vendors, carriers and drivers.” 

The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators has assured CTA that it has formed a committee to develop the progressive enforcement strategy.

“CTA is committed to working with the provinces, territories and federal government in a comprehensive and fair manner that sees the mandate receive progressive and full enforcement within a 12-month period. The introduction of phased-in enforcement strategies is not unusual to our sector; however, CTA sees no valid reason to extend an ELD phased-in enforcement approach beyond a 12-month period,” said CTA president Stephen Laskowski.

“Government and industry must commit to this progressive, 12-month process for the advancement of highway safety and to reinforce our commitment to safety we made collectively following the Humboldt tragedy.”