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CTA urges Ottawa to get more involved in trucking

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) wants Ottawa to take a more active role "in promoting a safe, competitive, viable and environmentally sustainable transportation and trucking industry."Speaking to...

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) wants Ottawa to take a more active role “in promoting a safe, competitive, viable and environmentally sustainable transportation and trucking industry.”

Speaking to a Halifax panel reviewing the Canada Transportation Act, CTA head David Bradley said the act, as well as the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, “contains the necessary elements” to allow the federal government to play a more active role. “The question is whether the federal government wants to exercise its leadership and play that role,” he said.

The review of whether the Canada Transportation Act “provides the legislative framework for an efficient and flexible transportation system” is part of the legislation’s mandate. The panel will report to the federal government in July.

Panel members include former Ontario premier Bob Rae; former Manitoba transportation minister Glen Findlay; transportation lawyer Jean Patenaude and University of British Columbia professor of economics, Bill Watters. The panel is headed by Halifax lawyer Brian Flemming.

Appearing before the panel alongside Bradley were Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association president Ralph Boyd and CTA senior VP Graham Cooper and VP regulatory affairs Ron Lennox.

Bradley told the panel that “the problem is not with the Act. The problem is that despite (the Act’s) laudable objectives, the federal government has failed to exercise the necessary leadership and commit the necessary resources to create a uniform and consistent regulatory environment for the trucking industry. Instead, what we have, especially on safety, is a patchwork quilt.”

The CTA said that Ottawa is unwilling to adequately fund provincial work to implement national safety standards. The federal government also fails at showing leadership in bringing provinces into line, which creates an uneven playing field for motor carriers, the CTA said.

A new guide to developing owner/operator contracts

The Ontario Trucking Association’s Professional Driver & Operator Forum has developed a booklet of guidelines for developing contracts between carriers and owner/operators.

The guidelines cover the key components of developing and finalizing a contract such as the need to clearly detail how payment to the owner/operator will be calculated and handled, as well as how deductions, holdbacks and insurance will be managed. In addition, the guidelines address issues such as agreeing in advance how and when compensation to the owner/operator will be adjusted to cover abnormal or unusual increases in operating costs – such as fuel. Moreover, the guidelines encourage both parties to make sure contracts are written, and that each party is afforded the opportunity to seek legal or other expert advice before signing on the dotted line.

For a free copy of the guidelines booklet, contact the OTA at (416) 249-7401 or at

Researcher looking for trucking survey participants

Cerno Research, a publisher of compensation and benefits information, is looking for private and for-hire carriers to participate in its 2001 industry survey.

The report will be distributed free to participating companies, which will also be eligible for discounts on purchases of other Cerno information. The company says all company information will be kept confidential.

Cerno previously published a Trucking Report in March, in cooperation with the Ontario Trucking Association. Fleet managers interested in participating in this year’s report can find out more information by going to

N.S. transport minister facing charges under OH&S Act

Sonja Wood, the leading supporter for twinning a deadly stretch of provincial highway in Nova Scotia, has filed charges against the province’s transport minister for failing to make the route safer.

Wood, who has held several protests along Hwy.101 since last fall, initiated a private prosecution under the province’s Occupation Health and Safety Act against Nova Scotia’s minister of transportation Ron Russell.

Wood told local media the province owns the highway and Russell is responsible for ensuring that it is safe for all who count it as their workplace, such as truck drivers, police and paramedics.

The province’s failure to twin the highway is the main deficiency, Wood adds. She was partially paralyzed in a highway accident in the 1980s.

CN investing in Internet marketplace FreightWise

Canadian National Railway Co. has jumped on the e-commerce bandwagon by signing an agreement to become a “strategic investor” in FreightWise Inc., an Internet-based marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers of intermodal services.

Canadian National joins Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. and the General Electric Co. as both backers and clients of the site.

“The transportation industry is looking for a much more effective way to conduct business. By joining FreightWise, CN is investing in the industry’s future by embracing the efficiencies created by technology and the Internet,” said Paul M. Tellier, CN’s president and CEO.

For the most part Canadian motor carriers have so far ignored the potential of conducting business through Internet marketplaces.

Trimac gets shareholder and court approvals to go private

Trimac Corporation has obtained the necessary shareholder and court approvals to proceed with the arrangement under the Business Corporations Act of Alberta to take the company private.

At a special meeting of Trimac shareholders, a resolution was passed approving the arrangement, with over 99 per cent of the votes cast being in favor of the proposed transaction.

The deal was subsequently approved by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

All shareholders of Trimac, other than those participating in the privatization, will be entitled to receive $9.50 cash for each of their Trimac shares once everything is completed.

The transaction is subject to the completion of the financing arrangements anticipated to close today. Trimac provides services in the highway transportation of bulk commodities and third-party logistics.

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Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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