The Impact of the Ontario Government Towing Reforms
Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney and peace officer Sylvia Jones unveiled the suite of measures at Queen’s Park Tuesday morning months after a provincial task force on the industry was struck.
Officials said they’re moving to form an oversight model and a licensing regime, but the finite details still have to be unveiled.
It was also announced that a joint forces operation team led by the Ontario Provincial Police in partnership with local police services will concentrate on criminal investigations.
A new restricted tow car zone pilot program on multiple 400-series highways was also announced.
It will see only 1 approved wrecker operator for every of the subsequent highway sections: Highway 400 between Highway 401 in Toronto and Highway 9 in King, Highway 401 between Morningside Avenue in Scarborough and Rural Road 25 in Milton, Highway 409 between Highways 401 and 427, Highway 427 between the Queen Elizabeth Way and Highway 409.
She also said OPP will have the authority to call in an exceedingly different tow operator (like a US tow truck service counterpart towing San Jose) should the necessity arise, adding the approach should help speed up clearing scenes. Mulroney said the quality latent period for typical incidents is half-hour and clearing it within 90 minutes.
“The safety of the people of Ontario will always be our top priority.”
Mark Graves, president of the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario, said he’s expecting the main points surrounding the oversight and licensing so as to understand if it’ll be effective.
“Just like all other rules, regulations, legislation, it’s only pretty much as good because the teeth that are put into it and therefore the enforcement that’s behind it so signing a chunk of paper doesn’t make it better,” he told Global News.
“We will hold them accountable. We’ll increase enforcement, strengthen consumer protection and improve industry standards.”
In May, York Regional Police revealed the results of Project Platinum, which saw police forces across the Greater Toronto Area and therefore the Canada Revenue Agency identify several gangland groups.