WINNIPEG, Man. –Prior to calling its annual general meeting to order April 8, the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) hosted representatives from all three provincial parties, including then premier, NDP leader Selinger, who stressed the importance of infrastructure spending, saying now was not the time to make cuts.
“We want good transportation infrastructure everywhere,” said Selinger. “All of our strategic investments will make your job easier. If you folks are doing well, it means more jobs for Manitobans.”
Selinger said an NDP government would complete the Winnipeg ring road, improve Hwy. 75 and support electronic logging devices (ELDs), saying if they make Manitoba roads safer, why wouldn’t they offer their support?
Progressive Conservative deputy leader Heather Stefanson, whose party was leading by a large margin in early April polls, accused the NDP of inflating the amount of money the party says it would spend on infrastructure for the election campaign, and that her party had the long-term infrastructure plan Manitoba’s transportation sector was looking for.
Pledging to spend $1 billion on infrastructure each year, Stefanson emphasized strategic spending on local roads and to protect the free flow of people and goods into the province to get a return on investment.
She also said a PC government would lower taxes, do a comprehensive regulatory review, stop the mass exodus of young Manitobans, and, answering a question from Truck West, look to make the province part of the New West Partnership with B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Liberal leader Rana Bokhari said the trucking industry “matters” to the province and that she would support initiatives important to trucking companies, such as gas prices and safety, which she said the industry has “led the way.”
“I don’t claim to be an expert, but I am a partner,” Bokhari said, adding that an honest conversation needs to happen to address the labour shortage in the trucking industry.
Bokhari said she recognized that “change causes stress,” and that a Liberal government would support an ELD mandate.
Following the speeches, the MTA proceeded with its AGM with an overview of its 2015 financials, which improved from the year prior.
A new board of directors was also nominated for the 2016/17 term, and they included:
John Erik Albrechtsen
Lakhvir Singh Sidhu
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