Ontario increasing oversight of towing industry
At a June 29 press conference, the Ontario government announced that it is establishing a task force to improve provincial oversight of the towing industry.
The government is taking this action in response to concerns raised about incidents of criminal activity and violence in the towing industry, so the task force will help develop a model that will increase safety and enforcement, clarify protections for consumers, improve industry standards and consider tougher penalties for violators.
Today’s announcement was provided by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, and Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General.
“The party’s over for the bad actors who are engaged in violence and criminal activity in the towing industry. We’re going to keep working with our police partners to bring these criminals to justice,” said Premier Ford.
“Setting up this task force will help us bring together experts to develop ways to better protect drivers, operators and inspectors.”
The task force will also review various topics related to the towing industry, which could include provincial oversight of safety, consumer protection, improved industry standards, training and background checks.
Additionally, the task force may consider opportunities for increased protections for consumers against the first-to-scene unethical business practices, insurance savings through a crackdown on insurance fraud rings or improved consumer choice for payments and repairs, as part of the review.
The province of Ontario is also reviewing ways to improve the transportation system by clearing accidents more quickly which would minimize lane reductions and reduce congestion on highways.
“Most tow truck operators in Ontario are responsible and play a critical role in keeping our roadways safe. However, like all people of Ontario, our government is concerned about the recent reported incidents of violence in the towing industry,” said Minister Mulroney.
“We are committed to ensuring a higher standard for the tow truck industry and are looking at ways to provide greater oversight of the industry to keep our roads and highways among the safest in North America.”
Membership of the task force will include representatives from the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of the Solicitor General, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the Ministry of Finance and the Ontario Provincial Police. Once the task force has developed proposals for discussion and comment, it will be consulting with industry, municipalities and public safety experts.
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