B.C. joins growing list of provinces greenlighting military drivers for CDLs

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line associate editor | Tuesday, January 26, 2016

British Columbia joins a growing list of Canadian provinces that are making it easier for Canadian armed forces veterans with military trucking experience to transition to civilian trucking jobs without additional testing.

Provincial Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone made the announcement on Jan. 21 via press release, stating “This will provide transitioning military personnel and recently retired veterans with a marketable qualification and new career opportunities in the commercial trucking industry.”

The move allows for active duty and recently retired vets who had a valid Department of National Defense 404 military driver’s permit within the qualifying time frame to obtain the equivalent commercial license without having to take a test.

Military driving qualifications previously had been non-transferable to a commercial license despite many serving and retired veterans having already acquired the needed driver training, qualifications and experience in the Canadian Armed Forces to drive heavy military vehicles on Canadian roads and abroad.

The Conference Board of Canada has estimated that Canada could experience a labor shortage of 25,000 to 33,000 trained and qualified truck drivers by 2020, according to the news release. The introduction of this initiative will directly address labor shortages in the commercial trucking industry.

The initiative is part of the Helmets to Hardhats Canada program designed to give veterans the opportunity to obtain jobs in the country’s unionized building, maintenance and construction industries. It has already been adopted in the provinces of, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

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