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Agriculture

Mandatory training for truck drivers set to begin in Saskatchewan

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REGINA — Mandatory training for commercial truck drivers in Saskatchewan is to begin Friday.

The change was announced in December, eight months after a deadly crash between a semi and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.

Sixteen people died and 13 were injured when an inexperienced truck driver from Calgary blew through a stop sign in rural Saskatchewan and into the path of the bus.

New drivers seeking a Class 1 commercial licence will be required to undergo at least 121.5 hours of training, pass more rigorous driver’s tests and will be monitored for one year.

The province says current Class 1 drivers will not be subject to the new standards, but anyone wanting to drive a semi as part of a farming operation will have to pass the new tests.

Alberta brought in mandatory truck driver training this month, but farm workers can apply for a one-year extension.

Ontario was previously the only province with mandatory truck driver training.

Canada’s transportation ministers have agreed to develop an entry-level national training standard for semi-truck drivers. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has said it will be in place by next January.

The Canadian Press

Agriculture

Ontario considers bill to protect farmers from animal rights activists

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TORONTO — Ontario’s agriculture minister says he has not ruled out introducing new legislation to protect farmers from animal rights activists who trespass on their property.

A spokesman for Ernie Hardeman could not provide specific measures the government is considering but says in a statement that “nothing is off the table”.

The minister says he will meet with agriculture stakeholders and people impacted by on-farm trespassing in the coming weeks.

A spokesman for Hardeman says the minister is holding the meetings to seek advice as the government formulates a strategy.

The government says trespassers put both health and safety and the integrity of the provinces’ food system at risk.

In recent years, Ontario mink farmers have been the target of animal rights activists who have released hundreds of the animals from barns.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2019.

The Canadian Press

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Agriculture

Invasive giant bee-eating hornets nest found in Nanaimo, B.C.

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NANAIMO, B.C. — A nest of invasive Asian giant hornets has been discovered and destroyed in a park south of Nanaimo, B.C.

The provincial government says its experts and a group of local beekeepers successfully eradicated the nest using carbon dioxide and removed all the hornets and the queen.

The giant hornets can be up to five centimetres long with a wingspan of seven centimetres and while stings are rare, the government statement says if a person is stung multiple times there is a risk of toxic or allergic reaction.

The province says three of the insects were found in the Nanaimo area in August and another three were found earlier this month, helping them to trace the location of the underground nest.

The hornets, which are common in parts of China, Korea and Japan, feed on insects and are capable of destroying a honeybee hive in a short period of time.

The Ministry of Agriculture says the dead hornets will be preserved for further research and testing to determine their potential point of origin.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 19, 2019.

 

The Canadian Press

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september, 2019

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