New laws in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, prohibiting smoking in all enclosed public spaces and work zones, include most
The Ontario government Thursday, May 31, enacted the Smoke
Free Ontario Act, which, among other things, calls for carriers to be strict
with their employees and trucks to enforce the act. Quebec enacted a similar
law with modifications not linked to trucking.
Most owner-operators will be exempt from the legislation,
unless they have other people sharing their workspace.
Carriers whose employee drivers violate the ban could face
fines ranging from $5,000 to $300,000, depending on factors including the
number of violations.
Truckers could be pulled over if police spot a driver
lighting up, but enforcement may be the biggest obstacle to the new law,
according to the Canadian media and bloggers on the Web.
“I think it’s a little overboard now,” owner-operator Pierre
Cinq-Mars of Ontario said, adding that he had already quit smoking several
Restaurants and bars already have a smoking ban in Ontario, he said, so people are not shocked to hear the news about trucks, even if they think
the law is excessive.
“The ones who complain the most are the ones outside of the
province,” Cinq-Mars said.
– By David Tanner, staff writer