Border security programs need coordination: CTA

OTTAWA — In an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Canadian Trucking Alliance urged the federal government to avoid further duplication and overlap as it rolls out new transportation security measures.

The hearing was called to solicit stakeholder views on Bill C-9, An Act to Amend the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992. The federal government tabled the bill in order to make several technical amendments to the current Act, but also to set the stage for regulations governing the security of dangerous goods during transport.

Of particular interest to CTA are provisions in the draft bill dealing with background security checks for drivers, and requirements for security plans, driver training, and route tracking of dangerous goods.

In its presentation, CTA noted that carriers and drivers are already subject to security requirements under programs such as Partners in Protection, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, and the Free and Secure Trade Program.

Port security requirements impacting motor carriers are also in place in both Canada and the U.S., and both governments are rolling out measures to deal with the land transportation movement of cargo destined for a passenger aircraft.

“CTA is not opposed in principle to enhanced security measures for the transportation of dangerous goods,” noted CTA senior policy advisor Barrie Montague. “However, we do challenge the notion that the country will somehow be more secure if a carrier has two or three or maybe even four security plans instead of just one, or that a driver needs to be trained and background checked multiple times depending on what commodity he is hauling, or where he is going.

“It is important that the government look at how the measures contained in this bill fit within the broader context of transportation security, and not create a new set of requirements that add costs to the supply chain with little incremental security benefit.”

Should Bill C-9 be passed by Parliament, it will set the stage for a formal regulation making process to be conducted later this year.

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