CTA bends Ottawas ear on safety, environmental initiatives

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OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) recently appeared before a Commons Standing Committee on Transport to appeal to the feds for support in rolling out environmentally friendly transport alternatives, such as natural gas.

CTA president David Bradley addressed the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities along with Claude Robert, president of Robert Transport, which is among the first Canadian fleets to deploy natural gas highway trucks between Montreal and Toronto.

In his remarks, Bradley also addressed “smog-free” trucks, greenhouse gas-compliant tractors and trailers. His message was that the economic interests of the trucking industry have never been more closely aligned with the safety and environmental goals of society.

“Proven technology exists today, right now, that can make our industry even safer, that can level the competitive playing field and make the air we breathe cleaner,” Bradley said in his testimony. “The industry is moving in this direction, but the goal should be to accelerate the penetration of this equipment into the marketplace. Trucking is an under-capitalized industry in Canada. We can either wait 20 years to maximize the safety and environmental impact that is possible, or we can partner with government to re-quip our fleets over the next five years, through a combination of regulatory and fiscal measures such as accelerated capital cost allowances, repayable grants and regulation.”

Bradley urged the Committee to consider the benefits of electronic on-board recorders and stability systems.

He also urged the feds to take a “common view and coordinated approach” between departments when developing any GHG-related mandates.

“By working more closely together, policy makers across various levels of government can remove jurisdictional regulatory impediments and boost incentives that will undoubtedly help the trucking industry accelerate investment in proven CO2-reduction and fuel efficient technologies,” said Bradley.

The CTA reports the Committee was especially interested in the industry’s adoption of natural gas-powered trucks. Robert operates several dozen LNG trucks along the Toronto-Montreal corridor, but he said more must be done to stimulate investment, harmonize rules and build the fueling infrastructure.

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