Extensive driver training is mandatory for those wishing to enter the Saskatchewan trucking industry. A valid class five passenger vehicle license is a prerequisite for entry into training. This is where many immigrants to the province face a stumbling block.
“If they don’t get the class five driver’s license, they can’t go for the class one,” said Gagan Singh, spokesperson for Guru Truck Driving School.
“But if Saskatchewan allows a visitor to get class five, then they can opt for class one and then they can drive a truck, but the fact is we don’t allow them class five at all.”
SGI recognizes class five licenses from only 16 foreign countries. Among them are mainly European nations as well as the United States.
Ukraine was recently added to the list to facilitate the influx of displaced residents into Saskatchewan fleeing war in Ukraine.
Drivers from countries not on the list must repeat basic driver training or relocate to another province.
A group of Saskatchewan trucking companies recently raised concerns with the Saskatchewan Minister of Immigration and Skills Training.
“We really need drivers right now,” Amandeep Gill of Gobinds Trans Logistics told CTV News.
“We’re about four or five companies sitting here right now, so they’re still having this issue.”
The Saskatchewan government has promised changes to provide the clearest path of any jurisdiction in Canada to have foreign professional credentials recognized.
However, there is no indication whether driving credentials could be included.