OTTAWA, Ont. — Reimer Express president and chief executive officer Allan Robison has been named chairman of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
Robison’s election came at the end of alliance’s annual general meeting yesterday.
He replaces former TST Solutions President John Stollery, whose term expired.
Robison says he will continue to emphasize many of the same initiatives and priorities that characterized Stollery’s term as chairman of the alliance.
“John Stollery’s first step as chairman of (group) two years ago was to challenge carriers and the associations to improve our industry’s image, I certainly share that view,” he says.
“Trucking is still at the receiving end of a lot of criticism that is not deserved and we will answer our critics. Where criticism is deserved however, CTA will push the industry to do better.”
The new chairman will also continue to push for a national transportation policy that recognizes the role each mode plays in the market place and the importance of an efficient transportation system in growing our economy.
Robison takes over with the trucking industry the target of renewed sniping by Canada’s railway companies. He cites the continued funding of the anti-truck lobby group CRASH by the Railway Association of Canada and strident tone adopted by some railway executives in recent weeks as a stumbling block in the way of dialogue on a national transportation policy.
“Frankly I find some of the tactics used by the railway companies such as funding an anti-truck group quite silly and counterproductive,” explains Robison.
“There are so many issues, particularly when it comes to Canada-U.S. taxation, where we could work together to improve the competitive position of both modes, that I find squandering such opportunities truly unfortunate.”
Robison says that he intends to meet with the heads of Canada’s two main railway companies in short order to try and find common ground for dialogue. But he adds that if the railways continue with their tactics then CTA will be prepared to respond.
“I believe you can be pro-truck without being anti-rail, that you can praise your company without disparaging your competitor,” he says. “I hope we can take that approach in relations between rail and trucks in this country.”
Robison has been elected for a two-year term.
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