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NTAC officially takes root (December 01, 2001)

OSHAWA, Ont. - After almost 20 months of politicking, the National Truckers Alliance of Canada (NTAC) has officially filed incorporation papers and it didn't receive a dime from Ottawa to do so."There...


OSHAWA, Ont. – After almost 20 months of politicking, the National Truckers Alliance of Canada (NTAC) has officially filed incorporation papers and it didn’t receive a dime from Ottawa to do so.

“There was no money from the government, we didn’t get a penny,” says Bill Wellman, one of the group’s interim directors. “All we got were services … help getting it going.”

Those services will add up, mind you, to the tune of an estimated $380,000. According to Wellman that’s how much help the federal government will have given the fledgling O/O association by next year at this time.

Wellman complains talk of a lump-sum payment from Ottawa muddied the waters and made it difficult to push NTAC forward.

“Everybody had their own agenda,” he says of the various groups hoping to join with him in the creation of NTAC. He explains the problem was they all kept asking, “How are we going to divide this money up?”

Most have since left the table and the interim directors will now choose who from the industry will form what will eventually be the first Board of Directors for the new trucker group. In addition to Wellman, the others on the initial Board of Directors – who will select others to help fill out the board – include Dave Marson and Blain Houlind, both from Alberta, and John Sommers, of Newfoundland. One person not included in the group is the oft-outspoken Darren Liebrecht, president of the B.C.-based National Association of Professional Drivers (NAPD) – and that suits him just fine.

“This is definitely not sour grapes,” he stresses. “I believe in Bill Wellman’s vision,” however he is concerned with the wording of the new group’s Organizational Mandate. The official papers from NTAC read, “…nor will NTAC act in any way that would prove contrary to the best interests of any community or to the industry in general.”

“It sounds like an essential service designation,” says Liebrecht. He complains that, while he doesn’t advocate shutdowns and blockades, they are sometimes the only way to get your complaints heard. The mandate has been written as though it is carved in stone and may have taken away its members’ rights to protest lest they face possible lawsuits after the fact, he complains.


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