The Ontario government is establishing a task force to improve provincial oversight of the towing industry.
The province says the task force will help develop a regulatory model that will increase safety and enforcement, clarify protections for consumers, improve industry standards and consider tougher penalties for violators.
The government is taking this action in response to concerns raised about incidents of criminal activity and violence in the towing industry.
“The party’s over for the bad actors who are engaged in violence and criminal activity in the towing industry. We’re going to keep working with our police partners to bring these criminals to justice,” said Premier Ford. “Setting up this task force will help us bring together experts to develop ways to better protect drivers, operators and inspectors.”
The task force will review a number of topics related to the towing industry, which could include provincial oversight of safety, consumer protection, improved industry standards, training and background checks.
As part of the review, the task force may consider opportunities for increased protections for consumers against the first-to-scene unethical business practices, insurance savings through a crackdown on insurance fraud rings or improved consumer choice for payments and repairs. The province is also reviewing ways to improve our transportation system by clearing accidents more quickly which would minimize lane reductions and reduce congestion on our highways.
Membership of the task force will include representatives from the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of the Solicitor General, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the Ministry of Finance and the Ontario Provincial Police. Once the task force has developed proposals for discussion and comment, it will be consulting with industry, municipalities, and public safety experts.