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OTA urges province to support environmental initiatives

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is calling on the province to provide incentives for compan...

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is calling on the province to provide incentives for companies that incorporate the new smog-free engines into their fleets earlier than necessary.

OTA president David Bradley told the provincial Legislative Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs that The opportunity exists to significantly reduce smog and fuel consumption, while enhancing the competitiveness of Ontario-based trucking operators and providing a boost to the domestic heavy truck manufacturing sector.

The OTA is urging the province to support the accelerated acquisition of 2010 engines. The lobby group says providing retail sales tax rebates or grants to companies that commit to the new technology early may reduce the impact of a pre-buy, and the resultant layoffs at Canadian truck manufacturing plants.

The OTA also suggested the province consider long-term tax changes that better reflect the economic realities of the new trucks and the increasing demand for trucking services. The OTA says the province should allow more realistic capital cost allowances and should also harmonize the provincial sales tax with the federal GST.

The association also encouraged the province to introduce educational tax credits that will result in better-trained – and more fuel efficient – drivers.

But, the time to act is now, says Bradley. An enormous opportunity exists to do some things that will be good for the environment, by reducing both smog and GHG emissions, and for the Ontario economy, but we must lay the groundwork now.”

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