With the abundance of information out there concerning the Canadian ELD regulations, you may be wondering if electronic logging devices (ELDs) are now mandatory. The answer is that the Canadian ELD rule came into effect on June 12, 2021. However, the law will be gradually enforced.
To help your understanding of the situation, we have summarized the key elements to remember about the Canadian ELD regulations based on the information available today.
The ELD Mandate in a Nutshell
The Canadian ELD regulations apply to federally regulated carriers, and include their local operations if applicable. In practical terms, this means that carriers that operate extra-provincially, meaning outside their home province, will have to comply with the rule. And the rule will apply to their operations both within and outside the province.
However, while the regulation is federal, the provinces and territories are responsible for its enforcement. Provincial authorities must develop their own enforcement plan of the federal ELD mandate and train their roadside inspectors on how to enforce it. As for the intra-provincial carriers, or provincial mandate, not all provinces have yet developed a plan. Some provinces have one rule set for both federal and provincial carriers, while others have a two-tier system.
The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) announced on May 5 that “the jurisdictions plan to support the mandate through a period of progressive enforcement without penalties including elevated education and awareness until June 12, 2022.”
The challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of allowing sufficient time for carriers to purchase and install certified ELDs played a large role in the decision to go with a phased-in plan.
During its annual meeting, the CCMTA reinforced its statement. Provinces are not going to enforce the federal mandate if there is not a fair number of certified devices available on the market.
Canadian Provincial/Territorial Plan
Let’s take a look at where the provinces and territories stand on the federal rule that mandates the use of ELDs. Be sure to check the ELD requirements in each province and territory where you plan to travel.
Alberta will follow CCMTA’s proposed progressive enforcement plan for the federal rule. Drivers and carriers can expect to receive verbal or written warnings after December 31, 2021.
After June 13, 2022, carriers operating without an ELD when a reasonable number of certified ELDs are available in the market may be charged with a violation of CVDHOSR SOR/2005-313.
At this moment, provincially regulated carriers are not required to use an ELD.
British Columbia’s existing Hours of Service (HOS) regulations have been modeled on the federal regulations to facilitate enforcement regardless of where the carrier operates.
In the same approach as for its HOS regulation, B.C. intends to adopt an ELD mandate modeled on the federal regulation, for consistency and to help normalize the rules for all carriers, regardless of where they operate.
British Columbia is currently developing its plan for the use of ELDs for all commercial vehicles operating in the province. The target for implementation of a provincial mandate is the summer of 2022.
Until the B.C. regulations are amended to make ELDs mandatory, if your vehicles are operated solely in B.C., you will not be required to use an ELD.
Until the new B.C. regulation comes into effect, drivers of out-of-province commercial vehicles travelling in B.C. may continue to use paper or electronic versions of the daily log.
Once the rule is in place, it is expected that drivers who are required by the current B.C. regulation to use a daily log will be required to use an ELD, but final decisions have yet to be made. It will depend on the availability of certified devices on the market and the installation rate.
Prince Edward Island
In Prince Edward Island, carriers and drivers will have a one-year grace period to comply with the federal ELD legislation coming into effect on June 12, 2021. Intra-provincial carriers won’t need to comply with the mandate since the 160 km exemption will apply; Prince Edward Island is less than 160 km across.
“This one-year grace period will give drivers and carriers enough time to obtain and install devices, and train people on how to use them,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister James Aylward. “There will be no penalties during the grace period. Early enforcement measures will include education and awareness.”
Manitoba will follow the progressive enforcement plan with a two-phased approach. Extra provincial and intra-provincial carriers will need to use ELDs.
Phase 1: June 12, 2021 to December 2021
This phase will focus primarily on raising awareness of the use of ELDs. Drivers and carriers will still be required to comply with hours-of-service requirements but will not be penalized for not using ELDs.
Phase 2: December 2021 to June 2022
Enforcement officers will issue warnings to drivers and carriers who are required to use ELDs but are not in compliance. As is the case in the first phase, all drivers and carriers are expected to comply with the hours-of-service requirements.
Full implementation of the regulatory requirements for ELDs is not expected to occur until June 2022. Note that this implementation plan is subject to change based on the availability of certified ELDs.
Exemptions From Using an ELD
Currently, federal and provincial regulations exempt drivers and vehicles that remain within 160 km of their home terminal from using an ELD; however, the driver’s daily hours must be tracked.
Understanding that some carriers only occasionally operate beyond the 160 km radius exemption, Manitoba decided to create a permit that would allow commercial/regulated vehicles to operate without an ELD when making an occasional trip that exceeds the 160 km radius and is entirely within provincial boundaries.
In New Brunswick, the federal ELD rule is adopted by reference. Penalties will begin in June 2022.
Newfoundland’s strategy is to follow the progressive enforcement plan with a target date of June 2022.
The Northwest Territories anticipates full implementation of the federal ELD rule within 12 to 18 months. They need to update provincial legislation.
In Nova Scotia, both extra-provincial and intra-provincial carriers follow the same rule. This will require all carriers to use certified ELDs. The province plans to follow the phase-in plan, but no firm date has been announced yet.
In Nunavut, there will be no ELD enforcement as there is no ability to travel outside of a 160 km radius.
Ontario will follow the progressive enforcement plan. The province has introduced Bill 223 which, if passed, will amend the Highway Traffic Act to require that every commercial vehicle operating in the province be equipped with a certified ELD. The Bill also requires that the information recorded by the device comply with the “Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices” published by CCMTA. Ontario is therefore drafting its own legislation, which applies to both federal and provincial carriers.
To follow the legislative process, you can refer to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website.
The Quebec government has announced that it is committed to harmonizing its regulations with those of the federal government regarding ELDs. Changes will have to be made to the Highway Safety Code and to the Regulation respecting hours of operation and rest for drivers of heavy vehicle drivers. Thus, like Ontario, Quebec is drafting its own regulations. Both federal and provincial carriers will be required to use ELDs.
The federal regulation requirements will be incorporated into the Regulation respecting hours of operation and rest heavy vehicle drivers in the coming months.
The objective is to make ELDs mandatory in Quebec by June 2022 at the latest. The daily logs already in use can therefore continue to be used until then. This applies to all vehicles operating in Quebec, whether they are from Quebec or elsewhere.
Beginning June 12, 2021, Saskatchewan will have an education and awareness period for the federal ELD regulations. Drivers and interprovincial carriers must continue to track their hours of service using a paper logbook or an ELD.
Saskatchewan’s approach involves three phases which will be adjusted as the transition progresses and ELDs become available in the market.
Phase 1: No certified ELDs are commercially available
Saskatchewan will maintain its commitment to safety by continuing to enforce hours of service regulations through paper daily logs or another tracking method that was valid prior to June 12, 2021.
Phase 2: Certified ELDs are commercially available
Saskatchewan will provide truckers and trucking companies with a reasonable time frame to purchase and install ELDs. During this phase, drivers who do not have certified ELDs will be required to maintain a paper log or to track hours of service using method that was valid before June 12, 2021.
Enforcement of the Commercial Vehicle Legislation will be geared towards education. Verbal or written warnings may be issued, but will not affect the safety profile of a driver or carrier.
It is anticipated that this phase could last up to six months.
Phase 3: Certified ELDs are available and the industry has had a reasonable time frame to install them
Enforcement of the Commercial vehicle legislation will involve issuing tickets to interprovincial drivers who do not have an ELD installed as required by regulations.
This change only affects drivers and carriers having interprovincial operations, meaning with commercial vehicles that cross a provincial, territorial or international border during their trips.
Intra-provincial carriers will not be required to use an ELD at this time as no plan has been established. Discussions on a provincial ELD mandate are expected to begin in the fall of 2021.
In Yukon the rule is already adopted. The territory wishes to allow sufficient time to purchase and install ELDs and train staff to use them. The Yukon’s strategy is to follow the progressive enforcement plan with a tentative target date in June 2022.
All carriers must continue to maintain an up-to-date activity report, either in paper or electronic format, as per current requirements.
Choosing a partner
If you are subject to Canadian regulations, consider choosing an ELD provider who will also act as partner. ISAAC’s proven solution will not only keep your fleet compliant in both Canada and the U.S. but will also optimize your overall operations.
Quick access to province and territory websites
*Last update: June 22, 2021