Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield delighted the crowd of OTA delegates with her devoted support of the association and the trucking industry.
TORONTO, Ont. — Ontario Minister of Transportation Donna Cansfield showed her willingness to work with the Ontario Trucking Association during her address at the OTAs annual convention, when she voiced her support on a number of key issues including the proposed speed limiters.
Minister Cansfield applauded the OTAs proposal that would require trucks operating into, out of and within Ontario to activate their electronic speed limiters at a maximum speed of no more than 105 km/hr. You continue to work with me and lets make this happen in Ontario, she told an audience of 600 delegates at the OTA luncheon. The Minister received thunderous applause and a standing ovation when she showed her receptiveness to the idea of speed limiters and commitment to working with the industry on the proposal. She also indicated that while further study into the proposal being conducted by Transport Canada is only “fair, Ontario is very interested in completing consultations on the proposal.
In addition to speed limiters, the Minister also touched on many other key trucking issues. She said that while she cannot speak for all her provincial counterparts, Ontario is implementing the new Hours-of-Service regulations on Jan. 1 as planned. Details of the MTO enforcement strategy during the transition period will be forthcoming soon, she announced.
The minister also said the final report containing recommendations of the MTO-Industry Committee looking to modernize the CVOR system and facility audit protocols is close to being completed and she looks forward to reviewing the report, citing this effort as a good example of industry-government cooperation. The minister said the province will also adopt the revised National Safety Code Standard for daily pre-trip inspections shortly thereafter (Jan. 1).
The minister said that she has visited Windsor once a month recently and there have now been over 130 consultation sessions on a new border crossing in Windsor. The final report from the Detroit River International Crossing process will be completed early in 2007 and will recommend where a second border crossing in the Windsor area will be located, she said, noting that fixing border problems in Windsor is a priority of the McGuinty government.
Minister Cansfield said her travels have made her aware of many of the challenges truckers face, including the lack of rest stops in Northern Ontario. She said shes committed to at least plowing the snow out of existing rest stops this winter.
The minister said she would be giving an OTA proposal for a revised program for retesting truck drivers once they reach the age of 65 her attention in the near future. Again, she applauded the OTA for its useful suggestions with this topic.
The minister said she understands the fuel efficiency and vehicle stability benefits of allowing wide-base single tires at the same axle weights as convention duals, and that once the pavements impacts study being conducted by the University of Waterloo is complete, MTO should be ready to make a decision.
The minister said MTO is working with OTA on a possible permit regime for aerodynamic fairings, known as boat tails. Several OEMs, including Freightliner, Mack, Volvo and International, recently reported the results of a two-year study on heavy truck aerodynamics during an event at the US Department of Energys headquarters in Washington D.C.
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