Active and retired members of the Canadian military living in New Brunswick and holding a Department of National Defence 404 driver’s licence may now obtain an equivalent New Brunswick commercial vehicle driver’s licence without additional training or testing.

The new measure, which went into effect this week, was developed with the support of Helmets to Hardhats Canada, a non-profit organization that partners with building trades organizations across the country as well as provincial governments to provide career opportunities to veterans and serving reservists.

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New Brunswick Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Stephen Horsman, who also serves as the provincial government’s liaison with the military says “We are proud to partner with Helmets to Hardhats to assist our veterans in accessing career opportunities in the commercial trucking industry by transferring their military licensing qualifications to a commercial vehicle licence.”

From left: Chief Warrant Officer Geoffrey Bamford; Lt.-Col. Adam Zima; Charlotte-Campobello MLA John Ames; Gregory Matte, executive director of Helmets to Hardhats Canada; Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Stephen Horsman, who also serves as the provincial government’s liaison with the military; Maj. Gordon Bennett; and Master Warrant Officer Brendon Bromley.

"To the many military personnel with driving qualifications who are transitioning to civilian life, this is an excellent opportunity,” said Lt.-Col. Adam Zima, commanding officer of the technical services branch at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown. “It will make the transition from military service to the civilian workforce quicker and more affordable. It is great news for our members and for the New Brunswick labour market”.

Helmets to Hardhats Canada/Facebook

Current and retired military members can visit a Service New Brunswick location to begin the process. Applicants must present a full New Brunswick Class 5 driver’s licence or equivalent licence issued by another jurisdiction, along with a DND 404 licence as a first step.

Once the necessary documentation has been submitted to the motor vehicle branch of the Department of Public Safety, an upgrade for a Class 1, 2, 3 or 4 New Brunswick driver’s licence will be issued.

A retired military member is considered eligible for the licence upgrade if he or she retired within two years of the application date.

No additional training or testing is required as equivalencies have been established in co-ordination with the motor vehicle branch and are determined by axles, passenger capacity and air brake status.

Gary Ritchie, executive director of the New Brunswick Building Trades Council says this opens the door to opportunities for current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces and helps employers find solutions to labour shortages in the commercial driving industry.

 

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