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Regulation changes aim to ensure stability at Lower Mainland ports

OTTAWA, Ont. -- The federal government has proposed regulations as a further step in preserving the long-term stabi...

OTTAWA, Ont. — The federal government has proposed regulations as a further step in preserving the long-term stability of operations at the ports of Vancouver and Fraser River.

“As we have seen in the past, container trucking disruptions can have severe implications for Canadian trade. Clearly it is important that we move to ensure long-term stability for trucking operations at Lower Mainland ports,” said Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

The proposed regulations modify existing regulations that make it a requirement to be granted a licence to access the ports of Vancouver and Fraser River. Specifically, the proposed regulations require non-unionized owner/operator truckers, who are currently subject to the rates of remuneration set out in the Memorandum of Agreement (July 2005), to be compensated at the equivalent of any rate that has been established in a collective agreement that applies to unionized owner-operators.

These measures aim to preserve the stability of container trucking operations at the ports upon expiry of the Memorandum of Agreement in early August 2007.

“Our government has worked closely with stakeholders, including the Province of B.C. and the port authorities, to provide stability and predictability for the trucking industry,” said David Emerson, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. “I believe these proposed regulations will go a long way in setting up a stable system for the industry. This move is critical in helping to maintain efficiency at these ports and to build Canada’s reputation as a gateway for trade.”

The proposed regulations do not interfere with the rates that have been established by the trucking industry under collective bargaining. Therefore, the rates that have been negotiated within the marketplace will continue to be in effect.

“British Columbia is Canada’s Pacific Gateway, and it’s vital that our ports remain open and reliable to growing Asia-Pacific trade,” said B.C. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon. “The Province welcomes this change that will provide greater reliability to shippers moving goods through the Pacific Gateway.”

The proposed regulations were published on June 19, 2007 in the Canada Gazette, Part I, and are subject to a 30-day consultation period.

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