TRURO, N.S. – Rates were the hot topic as Nova Scotia truckers gathered for their annual general meeting at the Best Western Glengarry on April 23 to 24.
“The entire trucking industry is battling low revenue and fighting the increase in expenses,” said Dave Roberts, executive director of the Truckers Association of Nova Scotia (TANS). “The members felt that the government of the day still does not realize the cost of trucking and private rates are based on the provincial hauling rates. We are mandated to bring the MLAs of the province up to speed on costs versus revenue over the past decade, to better reflect where the rates should be.”
Also on the agenda was an update on safety practices by Dianne Isnor and Kim Pineo from the Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association and an outlook on how the Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia arrives at premiums and the impact on the audit process by Gary Alderdice from Aldercomp Services.
“It was good to hear that the reports show our members are complying with the occupational health and safety regulations and have assisted with keeping the WCB premiums low. Safety is always a concern and TANS is proactive in promoting safe work practices,” said Roberts.
TANS is also being proactive about some other key issues, said Roberts.
“We will be looking at the weights and dimensions items that will affect the industry in 2006, waiting times at job sites as well as the latest round of fee increases including yet another increase to the registrations, even though the province hiked registrations two years ago by 40 per cent and now another 6.5 per cent increase this year,” Roberts said.
The convention was packed full with a casino evening, good food, screech and entertainment including one of TANS’ very own members. Jerry O’Neil, of Cummins Eastern Canada and a director with TANS this past year, joined his celtic band, Waxies Dargle, and provided musical entertainment for one of the convention evenings.
TANS’ charities, the IWK Children’s Hospital and Early Intervention Nova Scotia, were each presented with cheques for $6,861. The money was raised at fundraisers across the province, from 50/50 raffles, to “kissing the cod” and casino nights.
And the family benefit program, designed to help the families of members who have passed away, could reach the $50,000 goal this year, said organizers.
“TANS is proud to operate this type of program,” said Roberts. “We have helped about two dozen families over the past few years, and I hope that other associations consider doing something similar.”
The 2004 board of directors was also named. Members of the board are as follows: chairman is Donald Whynot of Queens County, vice chair is Bill Dowe of Cumberland County and treasurer is Brian Smith of Halifax County. The executive committee is rounded out with Robert Sutherland of Richmond County; Jerry Anderson of Inverness County; Sandy Gillis also of Inverness County; David Meehan of East Hants; James Height of Annapolis and Brady Hennigar of Lunenburg.