CAM Newsletter, July 1, 1999

Household Goods Carriers’ Liability - Quebec

North American Van Lines asked CAM to investigate Household Goods Carriers’ Liability in Quebec. Officials within the Quebec Ministry of Transport informed CAM that "household goods" became exempt in Quebec from the standard (uniform) bill-of-lading requirements developed in 1979. There is still a great deal of uniformity with respect to provincially-recognized bills of lading with the exception of the exemption clause where different exemptions and different definitions regarding exemptions apply.The exception afforded to household goods outside the bill of lading is going to be safeguarded through new regulations that will take effect July 15. Under Quebec’s Civil Code, legal opinion indicates that "the carrier’s liability may not exceed the value of property declared by the shipper. If no value has been declared, it is established on the basis of the value of the property at the place and time of shipment." Further clarification will follow shortly.

Fly-by-Night Operators

On May 26, we, as an association, wrote to federal and provincial ministries of transport across Canada expressing our concern about movers who operate without operating authority, licences and workers’ compensation insurance. It is these movers who have been giving the industry a bad name through questionable business practices with government, suppliers and consumers. We have had responses from seven jurisdictions describing current and future programs for dealing with these groups. These include increased enforcement efforts and penalties, carrier incentive programs, revoking of operating authority and plates, mobile inspection stations, and improved training for carriers, drivers and law enforcement officers.

Better Business Bureau

Since the recent Toronto Star article on the moving industry, CAM has had a few inquiries every day from consumers looking for a reputable mover in their area. CAM has referred them to local members. As the moving industry is one of the leading sources of inquiry, CAM is entering into formal discussions with the Better Business Bureau across Canada to see how we can work together to improve the image of our industry.

Southwestern Express

Southwestern Express (a supplier member of CAM) was named the 1st place winner of the Truckload Carriers Association’s fleet-safety award for excellence in carrier safety. Ray Haight received the recognition at an awards banquet in Las Vegas recently. TCA is the largest division of the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

Vehicle Impoundment Program - Results!!

It’s always great to see results, especially when they are what we asked for. As we reported in a previous issue of Movers’ Edge, CAM is working with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to assist in their design of the Driver Licence Check service. It is now available on the web at or by phone at 1-900-565-6555. The cost is $2.00 per check on the web ($2.50 by phone) and results for less than ten licence numbers come back in less than a minute. Where vehicle impoundment is a risk, this system will be valuable in ongoing licence checks and in quickly validating casual workers’ licences.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) - Warning

CFIA warns movers that several forest-destroying insects can be transported on outdoor articles and untreated wood products. These include the gypsy moth, Asian long-horned beetle and European spruce bark beetle. CFIA is starting a program of public awareness to assist in the eradication of this problem.

Y2K - Tax deduction

In previous issues of Movers’ Edge, we reported that new computer equipment must be purchased by June 30, 1999 to qualify for accelerated capital cost allowance deductions to replace systems that are not Y2K compliant. This deadline has been moved to October 31, 1999.

Certified Moving Consultant Course

As Movers’ Edge arrives on your faxes, the CMC course material should be arriving by UPS at your doors (only for those who ordered it). Canadian course material is being developed from courses offered by CCMO and its predecessors in the past. The amount of material is significant and may well lead to a supplemental stand-alone course.

Let us know about your events. We'll include them. Some news in this bulletin is specific to a single province. If you know of local legislation, let us know. If you would prefer this newsletter by e-mail, let us know.