Supply trucks parked outside a Yellowknife grocery store in April 2020. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Residents in the Northwest Territories applying for a Class 1 commercial driver’s licence will now have to complete mandatory entry-level training.
The territorial government announced the change on Friday morning saying it will help improve road safety in the NWT and enhance the trucking sector.
“Trucking is an important service industry in the NWT, bringing essential supplies to NWT communities in every region of the territory,” Infrastructure minister Diane Archie said in a statement. “The GNWT wants to enhance the skills of the truck drivers delivering those supplies and make our roads safer for all who use them.”
A Class 1 licence is needed to operate semi-trailers and tractor trailers. According to the NWT Bureau of Statistics, there were 986 people with a Class 1 licence in the territory in 2020.
The Humboldt Broncos crash in Saskatchewan in 2018 prompted national calls to implement mandatory entry-level training for truck drivers. The training is currently required in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia.
In the NWT, the training – which includes in-class and practical learning – will be offered by Aurora College in Inuvik this month and in Fort Smith later this year. The territorial government said it is also working with driving schools interested in providing the training.
Drivers who already have a Class 1 licence will not be required to take the training. The requirement does not apply to Class 2 licences needed to drive a bus.