LANGLEY, B.C. — The 2009-2010 provincial budget, announced yesterday, is getting the support of the B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA).
“The government is tightening its belt on discretionary spending, while simultaneously continuing an aggressive program of infrastructure improvements that will create jobs today, while supporting economic growth well into the future” says Paul Landry, president and CEO of the BCTA.
Modest deficits in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 are no small accomplishment in light of provincial, national and international economic and financial circumstances, added Landry.
“BCTA is very pleased that investments in the Gateway Program, Kicking Horse Canyon, the Okanagan Corridor and the Cariboo Connector will continue. Including federal contributions, almost $3.3 billion will be spent on key projects over the next three years.”
While the BCTA would have preferred that the carbon tax be frozen at 2008 levels, it endorses new provincial sales tax exemptions for idle reduction devices, such as auxiliary power units and cab heaters, as well as for a broader range of aerodynamic devices. Landry added that “significant progress is being made on plans to develop a comprehensive program designed to reduce commercial vehicle fuel consumption and greenhouse gases.”
According to the BCTA, program components will likely include the following:
·an education campaign on the benefits of proven technologies and strategies;
·an onsite outreach/demonstration centre in a high-volume truck corridor, such as the Pacific Highway Crossing, and a mobile outreach centre for B.C.’s heartland, to act as “one-stop shopping” sources, including training and information on applying for financing of technologies and add-on devices;
·financial incentives to adopt energy efficiency technologies;
·regulatory changes to improve productivity in trucking.
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