LANGLEY, B.C. — As the economy continues to decline, the B.C. Trucking Association president and CEO is asking B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell to freeze the province’s carbon tax.
In a recent letter to the provincial government, BCTA president Paul Landry referenced Statistics Canada, which states that the transportation and warehousing sector has experienced a 23% decline in employment between December 2008 and January 2009. He added that B.C.’s transportation industry itself suffered a 27% job loss rate – most of which involved full-time jobs held by men between the ages of 25 and 54. Landry also referenced the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council, which states that “truck driver” is the second most commonly held job by adult males in this country.
“While fuel prices have fallen from their record highs, contrary to historic experience, diesel prices continue to be ‘sticky’ and remain higher than gasoline prices,” he said in the letter.
“The trucking industry, largely comprised of small businesses (almost 90% operate only one or two trucks) already faced with low margins, will be particularly hard hit,” he added. “Under these circumstances, it would seem reasonable to freeze the carbon tax at the July 1, 2008 rate, and not increase it in 2009. While we recognized that the carbon tax was not intended to be revenue neutral for each industry sector, given that most companies and owner/operators in the trucking industry are already in low income tax brackets, and that fuel costs are often the highest or second highest operating cost for these companies, the carbon tax is particularly punishing for our sector.”
Landry indicated that the industry remains committed to reducing greenhouse gases, through the work of the BCTA’s own initiatives on climate action.
“However, the carbon tax dollars that our industry would be forced to give up, would otherwise help many of our small businesses to stay afloat, and in some cases, make investment choices that would benefit the economy and the environment.”
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