Truck News


Editorial Comment: Fond memories of the west will follow me home

It's with mixed emotions that I write this column....

It’s with mixed emotions that I write this column.

Sadness that executive editor Ingrid Phaneuf is moving on to work with the Canadian Truck Alliance after several years with Truck News. Yet, excitement that I will now have the opportunity to carry the torch as her replacement.

I’m disappointed to be leaving behind the many friends in the industry I have made during my stint as the western news editor in Calgary, Alta. Yet, looking forward to working more closely with my colleagues in Ontario and the many industry figureheads who are based there.

When I first began writing articles for Truck News and Truck West five years ago, I admit it was out of desperation. I had moved from Toronto to Calgary because I wanted to see more of the country, and the western way of life always appealed to me. I arrived in Calgary jobless and short of cash with only a pad of paper, a camera and an interest in the world around me to earn a buck.

Former editor John Curran asked me to write some stories for the paper and it all snowballed from there.

What I quickly learned, was the trucking industry had a lot to offer. Good, down-to-earth people make this industry what it is. I soon learned there was no better industry to be a part of and helped convince Truck News to establish a full-time position in the west, running our newly-formed western news bureau.

It didn’t take long to learn the Western Canadian trucking industry is unique – and it deserves to have its own publication each month. In the ensuing years, we were able to provide the western industry with unparalleled coverage by reporting on it from the front lines.

I’m pleased to say the western news bureau will continue to run uninterrupted. We’re not turning our back on this important sector of the industry and I can assure you the position of western news editor will be left in capable hands.

Before packing up the Corolla and setting out for a long-haul trip of my own, there are countless people in the west to thank and say good-bye to. Too many to do so here – I simply don’t have enough space!

However, the west has certainly been good to me. WT Safety provided me with my first experiences behind the wheel of a transport truck and helped me obtain my Class 1 licence.

Owner Kevin Agar wouldn’t accept a dime for the training – he considered it a service to the industry. Not long after, Mountain Transport Institute in Castlegar, B.C. took my training a step further and showed me the ropes on some of the most challenging mountains in the B.C. Interior – or all of Canada, for that matter.

The passion for the industry I witnessed here has been contagious, and a large part of the reason why I’ve accepted the opportunity to move east and play a larger role with Truck News.

For those of you in the west, you haven’t seen the last of me! I’ll always be able to find a reason to return to Western Canada. And for our eastern readers, I look forward to getting to know you better – whether it be at the Fergus Truck Show, ExpoCam, a truck stop along the 401 or anywhere in between.

– James Menzies can be reached by phone at (416) 510-6896 or by e-mail at

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