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 Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), an international non-profit working with the trucking,bus and energy industries to fight human trafficking as part of their everyday jobs, announced the appointment of Heather Mewhinney,

Director of Human Resources at the Kriska Transportation Group, as the first Chair of the newly formed TAT Canada Committee (TCC). Caroline Blais, Recruiting Manager at Kriska Transportation Group, will Co-chair the Committee.

The TCC will expand TAT Canada’s reach and implementation by activating its volunteer members’ networks, resources, and expertise. Integral to the success of TAT are partnerships with the industry leaders, carriers, government transportation entities and crucial anti-trafficking voices in Canada that comprise the committee membership.

TCC members will commit to training and implementing additional TAT Canada action steps within their organizations. They will encourage TAT partnerships as speakers at conferences and events and within their professional networks. TAT Canada will also promote that provinces and law enforcement adopt the Canadian Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Model (Canadian CVE) to utilize entry points into the trucking and bus industries to spread the TAT anti-trafficking message.

“The goal of the TCC is to be a growth accelerator for TAT Canada across the nation so that every CDL holder understands the role they can play in discovering and disrupting human trafficking networks,” said Kendis Paris, TAT Executive Director. “We relied on our partners at the TTSAO to select the Chair and Co-chair, as they could identify who has strong relationships with industry members across Canada and natural leadership qualities. Heather and Caroline are excellent choices and we’re extremely pleased to have them lead the group.”

TAT has been expanding into Canada since 2019, when it hosted a Coalition Build event in Toronto and has researched the Canadian transportation industry and law enforcement. The organization has relied on existing partnerships with UPS, Pilot and Bridgestone to introduce their Canadian affiliates. Key initiatives include working with the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) to educate commercial truck driving students to recognize the signs of human trafficking and with the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) to promote TAT Canada to their membership.

Currently, 15 Canadian companies have provided TAT training and certification to all their employees. An additional 24 have committed to implement training in 2021.

The TAT Canada Committee is:

Caroline Blais, Kriska Transportation Group; Tom Boehler, Erb Group of Companies; Charlie Charalambous, Infrastructure Health and Safety Association; Lynda Crickmore, Challenger; Jim Dimech, Praxair Canada; Julia Drydyk, Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking; Jake Elovirta, Commercial Vehicle Safety Safety Alliance; Stephanie Fensom, Bison; Esther Goetsch, Truckers Against Trafficking;

Kelly Henderson, Trucking Human Resource Sector Council of Atlantic

Canada; Kathy Koras, Newcom Media; Clint Lawrence, Pilot Company; Bonnie Learn, Fleet Safety Council; Mathieu Leger, Midland; Angie Lucarini, Purolator; Heather Mewhinney, Kriska Transportation Group; Mike Millian, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada; Alero Okujagu, Trucking HR Canada; Rosanna Preston, Rosedale; Leanne Quail, Paul Quail Transport; Kim Richardson, Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario; Lisa Richardson, The Rearview Mirror; Donavan Shepherd, FedEx Freight Canada; Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, Women’s Trucking Federation; Steve Vitale, UPS Canada; Liz Williamson, Truckers Against Trafficking; Kerri Wirachowsky, Commercial Vehicle Safety Safety Alliance; Kelly Welch, Schneider National Carriers.

For more information about the Truckers Against Trafficking Canadian Committee, contact:

Esther Goetsch, TAT Coalition Build Director
Liz Williamson, TAT Training Specialist and Survivor-leader
Tel. 612-888-4828

Current News

How Ontario’s General Trucking Sector can Address Driver Fatigue Among Professional Drivers

Driver fatigue identified as a top health and safety risk for trucking operations in Ontario

Top 10 root causes of driver fatigue among professional truck drivers in Ontario

In February 2020, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) in partnership with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) organized a group of industry experts that met for two days to determine the root causes of driver fatigue in Ontario’s trucking sector. As part of their work, they also developed critical controls and specific activities that could be put in place to address driver fatigue in Ontario’s general trucking industry.

The list of the top 10 causes of driver fatigue, as identified by workers, supervisors, and employers in Ontario’s trucking sector is displayed in the infographic on pages 34-35 of Private Motor Carrier. More detailed information on the top causes of driver fatigue among professional truck drivers, is discussed in the accompanying technical paper available at

Identifying solutions and controls

After identifying the top 10 causal factors of driver fatigue, the group of subject matter experts, led by Dr. Sujoy Dey of the MLTSD, identified possible solutions and controls for the top ranked risks. During the discussions, similar themes and proposed controls kept emerging that informed five key recommendations:

  • classify truck driving as a skilled trade (Red Seal),
  • review and address critical training gaps in mandatory entry-level training (MELT),
  • mandatory graduated licensing for all truck drivers,
  • greater enforcement of carriers who are non-compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and the Highway Traffic Act, and
  • promote mental health and wellness among professional truck drivers.

These recommendations provide a foundation for the reduction in driver fatigue by focussing on systemic causal factors and not just the symptoms of driver fatigue. The trucking industry should focus immediately on addressing these five key recommendations.

“The group of industry experts shared their experience, made suggestions, and proposed potential controls to address the primary causal factors and identified systemic weaknesses in the industry,” says Michelle Roberts, IHSA Director, Stakeholder & Client Engagement. “IHSA is proud of our work as an advocate for improving professional truck driver training, non-compliant carrier enforcement, and the importance of driver mental health and wellness. This work is a strong first step toward meaningful changes for safer and healthier workplaces for professional truck drivers.”

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