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ecoFreight aims to reduce emissions

TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. - The federal government is launching the ecoFreight program, a series of initiatives - totalling up to $61 million in funding - aimed at reducing the environmental and health eff...


TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. – The federal government is launching the ecoFreight program, a series of initiatives – totalling up to $61 million in funding – aimed at reducing the environmental and health effects of freight transportation.

The ecoFreight program is made up of six initiatives, two of which specifically focus on the trucking industry, through the removal of regulatory barriers and the reduction of fuel use and emissions.

“Canada’s new government encourages the freight industry to join the effort as we all have a role to play in the reduction of emissions from transportation sources, and the development of cleaner transportation systems, practices and technologies,” said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport.

The other initiatives target all four modes of transportation (air, rail, road and marine), as well as users of the freight system by establishing a Freight Technology Demonstration Fund, providing cost-shared funding, building and maintaining partnerships and demonstrating the potential of shore-based power.

These initiatives support the government’s ecoTransport Strategy, which is aimed at improving the health of Canadians and the environment by reducing the environmental impacts of transportation; securing Canada’s future prosperity and competitiveness by making transportation infrastructure sustainable, both economically and environmentally.

“Initiatives like these are a part of this government’s ambitious and realistic agenda to protect our environment and the health of Canadians, as well as to promote economic growth,” said John Baird, Minister of the Environment. “We will continue to take real action to protect the health of Canadians and the environment by helping make freight transportation more environmentally friendly.”

The Canadian Trucking Alliance has welcomed the initiative, but is giving the announcement a cautious “thumbs up.”

“From what we can glean, today’s announcement may be a good first start in the adoption of CTA’s 14-point action plan for a Made-In-Canada Clean Air Act for trucking,” said David Bradley, CEO of the CTA. “The dollar numbers are very modest, especially when most of the programs are spread over all the freight modes – truck, rail, air and marine – but to the extent that the program recognizes the legitimacy and potential of the CTA plan and the principles behind it then that is half the battle and perhaps we can build from there.”

While details are scarce, CTA hopes this will include most of the proposed measures identified in CTA’s 14-point environmental action plan for a Made-In-Canada Clean Air Act such as the mandatory activation of speed limiters and weight or dimensions allowances to accommodate wide base single tires, alternative power units to eliminate truck idling and aerodynamic fairings such as boat tails.


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