TORONTO, Ont. — CTA’s CEO David Bradley has much to say about Liberal leadership hopeful Sheila Copps’ sustainable development strategy.
Copps proposes to “level the playing field for taxes on rail and trucking industries.”
On the issue of truck-rail taxes, Bradley set the record straight with respect to perceived inequities between rail and road transportation by noting that both modes pay the same rate of federal excise tax on diesel fuel. Pointing to recent studies, he also argued the trucking industry suffers a competitive disadvantage in other tax areas such as property taxes and capital cost allowance (CCA) rates.
On the environment, Bradley referred to conclusions of The Transportation Table, one of which deemed measures associated with modal shift from truck to rail to be “least promising.” Following a significant study, it was concluded that this solution offered little potential to reduce greenhouse gases, and that the economic fallout would be enormous. He also pointed to the fact that trucking is the only freight transportation mode with regulated diesel fuel and engine emissions.
On the issues of truck-rail competition/cooperation, Bradley noted the two modes serve “two different markets and only intersect on about 10% of the market”. As a result, “subsidies to rail or higher truck costs are not likely to cause shippers to switch modes”. Where services do overlap, he continued, “the two modes are cooperating and shipping inter-modally.”
Finally Bradley referred to the recent Canada Census which points to truck driving as the number one occupation amongst Canadian males, and the fact that the trucking industry is the country’s economic engine, moving the vast majority of foodstuffs and trade with the United States.
“I believe it is important that whoever becomes the next Prime Minister has a good understanding of the importance of the freight transportation sector and how it works,” Bradley wrote in a letter to Ms. Copps.
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