Just days before Remembrance Day, an announcement was made by the Alberta government that will have a positive impact for Canadian Armed Forces.
Alberta transportation Minister Brian Mason announced that Alberta will now recognize the DND 404 military driver’s permit. Teamsters Canada has been a supporter of the initiative and were very happy with the announcement.
This means that they will be accepting military credentials for commercial driving licences, with an agreement that will allow current and retired Canadian Forces members to operate commercial vehicles without additional testing.
Many serving and retired veterans already acquire the needed driver training, qualifications and experience to drive heavy military vehicles on Canadian roads and abroad.
Despite this fact, until now these qualifications were not transferable into a commercial license.
“The invaluable contribution of our Reservists must be fully recognized,” explained Roy Finley, Executive Assistant to the President of Teamsters Canada. “Organizations have everything to gain by hiring Reservists and giving them some flexibility so they can continue to be involved in the Armed Forces.”
This initiative stems from the Helmets to Hardhats Canada program, designed to give Canadian Armed Forces veterans the opportunity to obtain unionized – and therefore well-paid – jobs in the construction industry.
Teamsters Local 362 joined the initiative by Canada’s Building Trades Unions as there is expected to be a labour shortage in the coming years.
“I would like to congratulate the current Transportation Minister, Brian Mason, former Minister André Corbould as well as Sean Hammond of the Ministry, for being so proactive in dealing with the challenges facing the trucking industry,” said Rick Eichel, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local Union 362. “Without their dedication, none of this would have been possible.”
This will allow veterans to have more opportunities in the workforce as commercial drivers and also opens up the door for Teamsters Local 362 to provide more veterans with work opportunities in the future as demand for drivers grows.
“Canada cannot ignore talented people like our Reservists,” added Roy Finley. “These workers are highly motivated, skilled and loyal and I believe the Government of Alberta should encourage the employment of these Reservists.”