CTA applauds border spending

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OTTAWA, Ont. – Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA)officials last month applauded the federal budget for its commitment to increasing border efficiency by funding staffing increases there.

The 2005 budget, delivered Feb. 23, allocated $433 million over five years to further strengthen the capacity to deliver secure and efficient border services.

Although not contained in the budget document, federal officials explained to CTA that the primary use for the additional funds is to hire more Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at key ports of entry to staff primary inspection booths.

“Too often, CTA members face lineups coming back into Canada when primary inspection booths are closed. Staffing was often identified as the problem. The 2005 Budget should help address this issue,” said CTA CEO David Bradley.

Bradley said the federal government also indicated an ongoing commitment to funding border initiatives, by promising to renew the $600 million Border Infrastructure Fund created in 2001 in a future budget.

But all was not roses when it came to environmental initiative funding, said Bradley, pointing out that Budget 2005 fell short of the mark when it came to accelerating Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) rates to encourage environmentally-friendly investments for trucking.

“CTA has long encouraged the federal government to adjust the CCA regime to encourage the penetration of cleaner truck engines into the marketplace,” said Bradley.

“And while I don’t question the steps taken in today’s budget, most of the environmental measures are directed towards the reduction of GHG (Green House Gas) emissions.

“Therefore, there are no fiscal incentives provided for ongoing investments by the trucking industry in clean engine technology to eliminate harmful smog causing emissions.”

CTA was also pleased to see in Budget 2005 the elimination of the corporate surtax by 2008, the phased reduction of the corporate income tax by two percentage points, and measures to increase RRSP deduction limits.

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