Truck News


What is your association doing for your business?

Over the past few years since being given the opportunity to write this column, I have resisted using it to blow CTA and OTA's horn; (generally at the request of Truck News' editor, John Curran) howev...

DAVID BRADLEY: Lobby leader
DAVID BRADLEY: Lobby leader

Over the past few years since being given the opportunity to write this column, I have resisted using it to blow CTA and OTA’s horn; (generally at the request of Truck News’ editor, John Curran) however, as another year fades, I feel compelled to take a look at all we’ve accomplished together.

There are many reasons why people and companies join trade associations. Often times, there is a desire to give something back to the industry.

That is a good thing, but in my view it is not enough to sustain an association, particularly during tough times.

The association must provide tangible benefits for its members. It is imperative for an association to, “put points on the board.” We must be able to demonstrate a meaningful return on your membership dollar.

Victories do not happen overnight nor do they happen single-handedly.

Many other groups and individuals in both the private and public sectors have been very helpful and their partnership is greatly valued.

The following is a brief highlight of some of the more important achievements of CTA and OTA over the past year:


Major win starting Oct. 1, when trailers, service parts and labor in IRP fleets were exempted from provincial sales tax and new tractors taxed on annual basis for a 20 per cent to a 40 per cent sales tax reduction in net present value terms.

Michigan Single Business Tax amended, saving Canadian carriers as much as 70 per cent in tax liability.

Government of Canada accepted portion of Pennsylvania Corporate Net Income Tax as eligible for foreign tax credit.

Communicating with

Shippers/ Suppliers

Issued advisories to shippers to expect an increase in rates from upward pressure on carrier cost structures – fuel, insurance and driver costs are all going up.

Provided guidelines for shippers/carriers promoting the adoption of fuel surcharges. Many get with the program.

Action plan to reduce wait times as food industry terminals agreed to.

Facilitating Border Crossings, Aftermath of Sept. 11

Played instrumental role in improvements to Customs Self-Assessment Process intended to streamline importation. Workable solutions found for LTL shipments. Six-month phase-in of the controversial Administrative Monetary Penalties System (AMPS) agreed to, saving Canadian carriers thousands of dollars and providing additional time to implement systems to reduce future liability.

In response to the unprecedented border delays following the September terrorist attacks, secured parallel Hours-of-Service concessions from both levels of government.

At the forefront of efforts to ensure improved security and the efficient movement of low risk people and freight across the border by strongly advocating perimeter security model.

Highway/Public Safety

Successfully negotiated agreement with the Teamsters so that major national carrier association and major national industry union both support current Canadian proposals for a new federal Hours-of-Service regulation.

Vigilant in ensuring that existing trucking industry practices for in-transit food safety remain in place to protect the public.

With ATA Foundation, governments of Canada and the U.S., and top sleep scientists, working to design a “fatigue management technologies” field test., which may lead to performance-based alternatives to traditional Hours-of-Service regulation.

Motor Vehicle Transport Act amended to include a parliamentary review of safety ratings effectiveness, and assurances given that the Act will not come into force until current consistency problems fixed.

Intervened in an ongoing court challenge to Ontario’s wheel-off law, arguing the current law is unconstitutional.

Wheels in motion to implement changes to Ontario licence entry criteria, enhance road test, and introduce commercial licence endorsements.

Developed and implemented revised air brake endorsement program. Administered re-certification of over 500 air brake instructors.

Participated in development of the annual CVOR renewal program to ensure it does not become a financial burden for the industry.

Developed proposal to allow for an accident’s preventability as it appears on the CVOR record to be appealed.

New clear language version of the TDG Regulations will be effective Aug. 15, 2002. Achieved many changes that benefit industry.

In conjunction with MTO, an 8 month pilot of a revised standard for drivers to assess the safety and road-worthiness of their vehicles was conducted and reported positive results.

Weights & Dimensions

Campaign to get Michigan to allow 53-foot tridems progressing through state legislature.

Ontario and Quebec formally signed an agreement that will harmonize the vehicle weights and dimensions regulations between the two provinces. One highlight is the permitted use of a four axle 53-foot trailer.

MTO changed legislation to allow special configurations by permit.

Roads & Highways

OTA discussion document containing progressive ideas for tackling gridlock well-received by municipal leaders.

Inked deal with New York Motor Transport Association allowing OTA carriers to participate in thruway tolls program.

Ontario announced it would invest $3 billion in the transportation system over the next 10-years.

Private member’s bill to ban trucks from passing lane on the QEW and 400 series highways fizzled.

Ontario’s Red Tape Review Commission explored solutions to accident cleanup delay problems.

Human Resources

With Human Resources Development Canada produced 11-part video series on industry job opportunities. Full set of videos, teachers’ guide, delivered to all Ontario secondary schools. Program to align carriers with local schools was launched.

Worked with Cerno Research, other provincial trucking associations to publish annual report on compensation practices of Canadian trucking operations.

With HRDC launching comprehensive study of current and future driving force/shortage.

Ontario hired more driver examiners and moved to privatize driver examination centres.

Developed definitive legal and practical proposal to resolve the perpetual debate over coverage of owner-operators for workers’ compensation purposes.

Three-year extension to the workers’ compensation multi-jurisdictional agreement introduced, allowing carriers to file for driver coverage through their base jurisdictions, avoiding hassle of filing on pro-rated basis.

Proposed Canadian Human Rights Commission policy on drug testing acknowledged cross-border trucking may be special case, bona-fide occupational requirement for drivers operating into U.S.

Proposed fall protection regulation taken off the table.


Founded coalition of heavy-duty equipment users seeking a review of Heavy-Duty Drive Clean Program. MOE conducting cost-benefit analysis.

National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy concluded that fiscal instruments (tax differentials, tax credits, grant programs, etc.) could help speed introduction of cleaner engines and fuels.


Ontario opened more IRP plate issuing offices.

MTO changed policy to allow carriers to stagger renewal periods to circumvent an annual cash-flow crunch.

Municipal Issues

New Municipal Act will prohibit municipalities from attempting to licence trucking firms.

City of Toronto agreed to develop workable parking policy after truck parking ban denounced.

Worked with Windsor Police on improving truck traffic flow on Huron Church Road, leading to Ambassador Bridge.

City of Windsor plan to introduce a toll on trucks using the Ambassador Bridge goes nowhere.

City of Ottawa scrapped proposal to ban evening truck deliveries on King Edward bridge.

This is just a brief list of the highlights.

They do not include all of CTA and OTA’s accomplishments.

Nor, do they include the accomplishments
of the other provincial trucking associations.

I would ask all carriers that are not presently members of their provincial association to get on-board.

We look forward to the challenges that are ahead.

– David Bradley is president of the Ontario Trucking Association and chief executive officer of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

Truck News

Truck News

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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