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Alberta’s HoS announcement sends shockwaves through industry

EDMONTON, Alta. -- On Nov. 8, the Office of the Provincial Minister of Infrastructure & Transportation shocked the ...


EDMONTON, Alta. — On Nov. 8, the Office of the Provincial Minister of Infrastructure & Transportation shocked the Alberta’s trucking industry with the announcement that the province would not be adopting the new Federal Hours-of-Service which come into effect across the country in 2007. Even though there have been ongoing consultations provincially, nationally and internationally over a 15-year period, the announcement said that, more consultation (is) required before any changes to provincial Hours-of-Service rules for truckers.

Henry VanSteenbergen, president, Legal Freight Services and president of the Alberta Motor Transport Association responded in writing to the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation expressing the organizations extreme disappointment over the Alberta governments position. The recently announced decision to isolate this province with unique, non-standard Hours-of-Service regulations, has placed Alberta businesses in the difficult situation of having to deal with two very different sets of rules for provincially and federally regulated carriers and has created a distinct disadvantage for federally regulated carriers in Alberta to compete in their operations within the province, he said.

Mayne Root, executive director of the AMTA, described the 15-year consultative process to develop the new rules as long and arduous and involved many organizations. Everyone was well aware of the difficulties involved in developing a set of standards and regulations that best fit all aspects and sectors of the highway transportation industry, but they were also aware of the need to address existing standards and practices that are adversely affecting drivers, their families, and safety on the highways, he said. These standards and practices have also had a huge detrimental effect on the attrition of drivers from the industry and the ability to attract new people to this occupation which is vital to the economic well being of our province and nation.

It also forces the enforcement community to have to interpret and apply all of the complexities of two sets of legislation, Root continued. This places the drivers, carriers and enforcement officers in a very difficult and confusing position in their attempts to insure compliance.

Root said its critical for Albertas government to resolve the issue as soon as possible. The AMTA and its members offer our services and support to get it done, he said.


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