SGI and Saskatchewan government offer contrasting messages on Class 1 mandatory training

Published: April 27, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The government in Saskatchewan says it has still not reached a decision on whether it will introduce mandatory traning for truck-trailer drivers in the province. This is despite a memo from Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) saying it plans to have such a stipulation in place in 2019.

Jim Billington, press secretary for Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said in a statement SGI sent an internal memo to drive instructors on April 25. The bulletin said it wants to implement mandated training standards for Class 1 drivers.

However, the public insurance provider’s timeframe was wrong as no launch has been discussed. Instead Billington confirmed talks between SGI and the government have taken place and consultation are ongoing. He said no decision has been made despite the consultations streatching back to July 2017.

Among the points of discussion are what curriculum drivers would follow as standard and how many hours of training will be required.

SGI’s bulletin points to a renewed focus on training Class 1 drivers following an April 6 collision involving a bus and truck. The bus was carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team and 16 people lost their lives, while a further 13 were injured.

The memo says the insurance provider is committed to working with the provincial government to bring mandatory training to drivers. Interestingly, despite Billington’s words, SGI placed a commitment to have a plan in place by early 2018 and a full rollout soon after.

Ontario is the only province in Canada with mandatory Class 1 driver training. It requires drivers to have at least 103.5 hours of training.

During the period 2011 to 2015, Saskatchewan had the highest traffic deaths per 100,000 people in Canada, with 13.2 deaths per the number. Fatal collisions in the province are over double the national average.