The Ontario government is pushing toward instituting different changes for the region's tow truck industry, including the authorizing of drivers, and is trying to get serious about savagery inside it.
Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones uncovered the set-up of measures at Queen's Park Tuesday morning months after a common team on the business was struck.
"Tow transporters are an indispensable piece of keeping Ontario moving, however they are working in an industry that needs oversight, structure and where an excessive number of hoodlums are making their own principles," Jones said.
Two different tow trucks (and presumably their drivers) were shot at 6 kilometers apart on highway 401 in Toronto. No one was injured. Police are said to be investigating whether the two shots are connected.
Peter Edwards, the Toronto Sun's organized crime beat reporter, is candid in discussing his findings that the tow truck industry is rampant with fraud, money laundering, kickbacks and otherwise organized crime dealings, many of which include corrupted police officers (3 of whom have been arrested, as of late with 4 more being investigated).
According to police, Paramount Towing, along with other rival Greater Toronto towing groups, have allegedly been involved in defrauding insurance companies with vehicles involved in collisions and staged collisions.
“The towing companies partnered with auto repair shops, as well as car and truck rental companies, to carry out their frauds,” police said.
Police said insurance companies hired lawyers and pursued legal action against numerous towing companies. Investigators also allege that Carr Law firm in Vaughan, Ont., hired by the insurance companies, became the target of violence, threats and extortion.
After experiencing a car accident, instead of quickly googling “tow truck near me” some accident victims needn’t look that far for help.
In Waterloo, Ontario, about an hour outside of Toronto, tow truck drivers would often linger near accident scenes offering their tow truck services—similar to the notorious personal injury lawyers known as “ambulance chasers.”
Some car owners across the Greater Toronto area innocently searching for “towing company near me” got more than they bargained for, as almost $1 million worth of vehicles have been recovered by Durham police during their investigation in unlawful tow truck service practices. Among the vehicles they recovered were two luxury cars, a Ferrari 488 and a BMW M4.
This video by CBC Marketplace discusses the bylaws that tow truck operators are required to abide by. It's technically illegal for a tow truck driver to show up at your scene without you calling them. They are not allowed to 'prey' on you. They may twist the truth and claim to be working with the police or claim that someone else radioed them in. You do not have to give these tow truck drivers in Etobicoke, Toronto or Mississauga permission to tow your car. You should only allow your car to get towed if you've called a tow truck and by the tow truck company who answered the phone when you called.
Grey County, Ontario OPP suspended the permit of a tow truck driver after purportedly smelling liquor and requiring a breathalyzer test.
“If you have a Class G driver’s licence, you could go to a tow truck company tomorrow, get some on the job training, and basically have a truck to drive and you could be towing a vehicle ...There really should be some provincial certification requirement to operate a tow truck in Ontario and that would come along with licensing and training requirements.”
Teresa Di Felice, CAA SCO’s assistant vice president of government and community relations
"This is another strong example of why drivers need to be more aware of emergency vehicles on the highway. This video, it just supports the campaign that the OPP and the agencies are doing over the weekend, trying to get the message out to people to slow down and move over,"