AMTA’s new Calgary office put on hold for now

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BANFF, Alta. – Plans to construct a new Calgary office and train- ing centre were dashed by the Alberta Motor Transport Association membership during the association’s annual general meeting.

A proposal to construct the “Centre of Excellence” using excess funds gained from investments made by the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) was put to vote for the membership during the association’s AGM in Banff, Alta.

The AMTA Board of Directors established a Facility Committee in 2004 to research alternatives into building a new Calgary office, which would be larger and better designed to meet increased training and administration needs.

A plan was developed for an 11,000 sq.-ft. facility on 1.5 acres of land in Calgary’s southeast industrial area; and the board established a fund to accumulate excess monies from the yearly operating budget for the facility’s construction, which at the end of 2006 totaled $111,000.

In 2006, the WCB informed safety associations they were anticipating a surplus of more than $400 million from 2005, as the result of returns from successful investments. WCB also noted some of the funds could be available to associations for suitable, safety-related initiatives.

The cost of the new Calgary facility would be $3.35 million and the board proposed the AMTA use 10% of the excess funds from WCB designated for the transport industry be used to pay the balance of $3.24 million.

In a 22 to 19 vote the proposal was defeated.

The Board of Directors will now discuss a new course of action for the AMTA to take in regards to building a new Calgary office and training facility.

“We have some options now we have to look at, because we can’t stay here (in the current Calgary office) and we have to move forward,” Mayne Root, executive director of the AMTA, told Truck West. “It has to be relatively soon, but they’ll decide and give our staff direction.”

Fresh faces

In his final address as AMTA president, Henry VanSteenbergen of Legal Freight Services assured the association’s membership discussions with the provincial Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation are continuing in regards to hours-of-service legislation.

New federal HoS regulations went into effect across the country on Jan. 1 and every province has committed to adopting similar legislation except Alberta.

“We will continue to meet with the minister to change his mind not to be part of federal hours-of-service rules,” said VanSteenbergen. “We feel two sets of rules are unacceptable.”

VanSteenbergen, who now sits as past-president on the board of directors, noted it was a privilege to serve as the AMTA president during his year-long term and thanked the members for all their support.

“I can not say enough about the quality of the people who serve on the board,” he added. “All the hours and hard work, if we don’t support our industry like this it will be a poor industry.”

VanSteenbergen also announced Greg Sokil of Sokil Express Lines was the sole nominee for the president-elect position on the board.

“By that respect he is acclaimed to the position,” VanSteenbergen explained. “He is a welcome addition to the president-elect position.”

VanSteenbergen passed the presidency torch on to Gene Orlick, president of Calgary-based Orlick’s, who announced the people who would make up the board of directors for the following year.

“All six regional positions are up for election in 2007,” said Orlick. “And all were acclaimed to their positions.”

There were two vacancies for directors-at-large on the board, which were also filled by acclamation.

Making up the current board of directors for the AMTA are: Gene Orlick of Orlick’s, president; Greg Sokil of Sokil Express Lines, president-elect; Henry VanSteenbergen of Legal Freight Services, past-president; Don Jackman of Envirosort, central regional director; Jim Daubert of Klassen Brothers Northern, northwest regional director; Dean Paisley of Lethbridge Truck Terminals, southern regional director; Trevor Fridfinnson of Bison Transport, Calgary regional director; Dan Duckering of Duckering’s Transport, Edmonton regional director; Rod Shopland of Night Hawk Truck Lines, northeast regional director; Jim Davis of ECL Transportation, director-at-large; Bob Hill of Hill Bros. Expressways, director-at-large; Gordon Mackan of SGT2000, director-at-large; and Wayne Pedersen of Pedersen Transport, director-at-large.

“All of our guys are acclaimed this year, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worthy,” added Orlick.

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