CALGARY, Alta. - The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) has formed a committee to ensure it can remain a part of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) after months of feuding over the alliance'...
CALGARY, Alta. – The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) has formed a committee to ensure it can remain a part of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) after months of feuding over the alliance’s funding formula.
As reported in the June issue of Truck News, the AMTA was on the brink of withdrawing from the alliance, since it felt it was shouldering an unfair portion of the CTA’s budget.
Making matters worse was the fact the AMTA collects the majority of its own funds through Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) premiums. The WCB controls the purse strings, however, and refuses to allow the AMTA to spend its money on CTA dues.
With the CTA unwilling to revamp its funding formula, and the AMTA equally steadfast in its opinion it was being overcharged, it appeared years of effort building a strong national voice for the trucking industry was in jeopardy.
However, since Truck News broke news of the impending break-up, the AMTA has taken action and formed a committee responsible for bridging the gap between the two groups.
Roy Craigen, general manager of Economy Carriers’ special commodities division, is heading the fledgling committee.
Along with cohorts Dennis Pettit, Jim Bereza, Kim Royal and Peter Vaudry, he will be responsible for raising the funds needed to remain a part of the alliance and performing a certain amount of damage control to improve relations between the two groups.
“We had gotten to a point where it was causing damage to relations and nobody has anything to win by continuing on that path,” says Craigen. “I think we’ve eroded the relationship far enough and at the end of the day, everybody wants to do a better job helping the industry.”
The first challenge for the committee is to raise enough money to ensure the association can remain a part of the alliance.
The AMTA will determine what it feels is a fair and feasible amount to contribute, and the newly-formed committee will try to make up the balance.
“This committee is not charged with the responsibility of raising the full fee,” stresses Craigen.
If the AMTA board agrees that it should only be paying $50,000 in CTA dues, rather than the $87,000 it is currently responsible for, then the committee will attempt to raise the remaining $37,000.
To do that, it’s essential the committee gains support from Alberta’s interprovincial carriers who understand the importance of a national body.
“We’ve got to respect the fact that not everybody has the same perception of needs in their operations, depending on how big they are and where they travel,” says Craigen. “But for those who have a national and international operation, they do identify with the need for a national voice and typically those types of operations would participate (in fundraising efforts).”
Fundraisers currently being considered include specialty dinners featuring high-profile speakers, such as the Minister of Transportation.
“We’ve got a host of different options,” says Craigen, noting most would be directed towards carriers that would best benefit from CTA involvement.
Although it’s too early to determine whether the committee’s actions will be enough to salvage the waning relationship between the two groups, both sides say they’re supportive of the initiative.
“I have talked to (CTA leader) David Bradley and at least one other member of the CTA board of directors about what we’re doing and they’re happy that we’re taking a direction that involves them,” says Craigen. The entire AMTA board of directors has also voiced its support for the new committee.
“All we can do is give it a good effort and see where it goes,” he adds. “With the group that’s there, I don’t see them starting something and not being successful.”
While the funding issues will be the primary responsibility of the committee for the time being, it will also strive to promote a closer working relationship between the two groups.
That could mean scheduling more meetings with CTA representatives and ensuring the provincial group is an active participant in the CTA’s future projects.
“We’ll develop a strategy for that but we haven’t gotten that far yet because funding is a priority for everyone at the moment,” says Craigen.
“Part and parcel of that will be to develop a strategy, involve the individuals who want to have an active role in the relations and just champion the common cause of advancing the industry for the benefit of everybody.”