OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance hit Parliament Hill yesterday, calling for measures designed to not only help “ensure” an economic recovery, but also to help businesses like those in the trucking industry to capitalize on such a renewal.
CTA president David Bradley spoke to House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, which is currently preparing its recommendations for the 2010 federal budget.
“Trucking is an essential component of the supply chain and a key facilitator of Canada’s trade. Therefore the trucking industry has an important role to play in terms of economic renewal,” Bradley said.
He said the trucking industry “does not expect the Government of Canada to solve all its problems; our industry is a creature of one of the most competitive markets there is. Ultimately our members’ ability to manage their businesses will determine whether they survive.”
Bradley continued, saying that, “The Government of Canada and the 2010 budget have a significant role to play in ensuring that the industry is able to take full advantage of the opportunities that do present themselves through economic recovery; is treated fairly compared to other sectors of the economy; and, receives value for the tax dollars it generates.”
The CTA has said its primary goal for the 2010 budget is to “establish partnerships with government and mechanisms to accelerate the re-equipping of the Canadian truck fleet” when the economy bounces back.
“The trucking industry cannot provide the service the economy demands, or further enhance its environmental and safety performance, unless it is able to invest in the latest equipment and technology,” he said. “But, the problem is that the industry is in no position to replace its aging fleet with new equipment, at least not at the rate we need to, because the industry simply doesn’t have the capital and credit remains extremely tight.”
In his testimony, Bradley reminded the committee that the current federal government had made a commitment to reduce federal excise tax on diesel fuel by 50% over four years. Since this commitment has not yet been fulfilled, the CTA is proposing an alternate approach that would allocate revenues from the excise tax to accelerating the investment in new smog-free heavy truck engines and the GHG-reducing technologies and devices identified in CTA’s enviroTruck initiative.
“Similar incentives or rebates should also be considered for the latest proven safety enhancement technologies including electronic on-board recorders, and vehicle stability systems. Mandates for many of these devices are already being considered in the US and Canada. We need to be ready,” Bradley said.