Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), an international non-profit working with the trucking, bus and energy industries to fight human trafficking as part of their everyday jobs, announces the appointment of Heather Mewhinney, Director of Human Resources at the Kriska Transportation Group, as the first chair of the newly formed TAT Canada Committee (TCC). Caroline Blais, Recruiting Manager, Kriska will co-chair the committee.
The TCC will expand TAT Canada’s reach and implementation by activating its volunteer members’ networks, resources, and expertise. Integral to the success of TAT are partnerships with the industry leaders, carriers, government transportation entities and crucial anti-trafficking voices in Canada that comprise the committee membership.
TCC members will commit to training and implementing additional TAT Canada action steps within their organizations. They will encourage TAT partnerships as speakers at conferences and events and within their professional networks. TAT Canada will also promote that provinces and law enforcement adopt the Canadian Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Model (Canadian CVE) to utilize entry points into the trucking and bus industries to spread the TAT anti-trafficking message.
“The goal of the TCC is to be a growth accelerator for TAT Canada across the nation so that every CDL holder understands the role they can play in discovering and disrupting human trafficking networks,” said Kendis Paris, TAT executive director. “We relied on our partners at the TTSAO to select the chair and co-chair, as they could identify who has strong relationships with industry members across Canada and natural leadership qualities, Heather and Caroline are excellent choices, and we’re extremely pleased to have them lead the group.”
TAT has been expanding into Canada since 2019 when it hosted a Coalition Build event in Toronto and has researched the Canadian transportation industry and law enforcement. The organization has relied on existing partnerships with UPS, Pilot and Bridgestone to introduce their Canadian affiliates. Key initiatives include working with the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) to educate commercial truck driving students to recognize the signs of human trafficking and with the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) to promote TAT Canada to their membership.
Currently, fifteen Canadian companies have provided TAT training and certification to all their employees. An additional twenty-four have committed to implement training in 2021.
The TAT Canada Committee is:
Caroline Blais, Kriska; Tom Boehler, Erb Group of Companies; Charlie Charalambous, Infrastructure Health and Safety Association; Lynda Crickmore, Challenger; Jim Dimech, Praxair Canada; Julia Drydyk, Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking; Jake Elovirta, Commercial Vehicle Safety Safety Alliance; Stephanie Fensom, Bison; Esther Goetsch TAT; Kelly Henderson, Trucking Human Resource Sector Council of Atlantic Canada; Kathy Koras, Newcom Media; Clint Lawrence, Pilot Company; Bonnie Learn, Fleet Safety Council; Mathieu Leger, Midland; Angie Lucarini, Purolator; Heather Mewhinney, Kriska Transportation Group; Mike Millian, Private Motor Truck Council of Canada; Alero Okujagu, Trucking HR Canada; Rosanna Preston, Rosedale; Leanne Quail, Paul Quail Transport; Kim Richardson, Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario; Lisa Richardson, The Rear View Mirror; Donavan Shepherd, FedEx Freight Canada; Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, Women’s Trucking Federation; Steve Vitale, UPS Canada; Liz Williamson, TAT; Kerri Wirachowsky , Commercial Vehicle Safety Safety Alliance; Kelly Welch, Schneider National Carriers.
For more information about the Truckers Against Trafficking Canadian Committee, contact:
Esther Goetsch, TAT Coalition Build Director
Liz Williamson, TAT Training Specialist and Survivor-leader
About Truckers Against Trafficking
Truckers Against Trafficking has over 1,000,000 drivers registered as TAT Trained. Since it began in 2009, statistics from the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) in the United States show that more than 2,692 calls have been made by truckers to the NHTH, resulting in 708 possible cases of human trafficking, involving more than 1,296 victims.