LEE ALDERSON, Communications Branch, Ministry of Transportation
The Ontario government is improving 14 existing truck rest areas, building 10 new rest areas, and adding 178 additional truck parking spaces at four existing ONroute travel plazas. This is part of the province’s five-year plan to keep Ontario’s roads and highways among the safest in North America and maintain the safe movement of essential goods.
“Truck drivers spend long hours moving goods of every type and description on our roadways and we need to ensure they have a modern, safe and welcoming place to stop and rest,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “During the pandemic our carriers and drivers have been going above and beyond to get essential goods to market and we truly appreciate their effort, especially during this busy holiday season.”
To support the province’s trucking sector, Ontario has ensured parking and washrooms remain available at all 23 ONroutes, and there are more portable washrooms at truck inspection stations.
As part of its efforts to improve rest areas, the province is working with trucking industry partners to raise awareness about human trafficking, in step with Ontario’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy. Traffickers are known to use the 400-series highways to move victims across jurisdictions, and professionals who work in the trucking industry play a vital role in helping to combat human trafficking.
The province is also proactively partnering with ONroute to educate the public about the signs of human trafficking and raise awareness about the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline. This information is available online and will be posted at ONroute locations, rest areas, carpool lots and truck inspection stations.
“Raising awareness is a key part of our Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy and the first line of defence against stopping such a horrific crime,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “We appreciate the support of Ontario’s trucking industry and other transportation sector partners in sharing information and helping to combat human trafficking in our province.”
This is part of the government’s overall plan to connect communities, build safer and better highways, help combat human trafficking and keep the supply chain strong in every part of Ontario.
“In September, the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada launched the #KnowHumanTrafficking campaign, to help raise awareness about human trafficking and educate people about the actions they can take to help those at-risk,” said Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada. “We look forward to working with the Ontario government on this initiative and creating safer highways and rest areas across our province.”
“ONroute is proud to support our trucking community, who work tirelessly every day to deliver the goods, products and services Ontarians and Canadians need,” said Melanie Teed-Murch, Chief Executive Officer of ONroute. “As an essential service and key stop along the 400-series highways, we are pleased to work with the Government of Ontario to expand our services and amenities, including adding much-needed parking, to better serve the drivers who keep our economy moving.”