OTTAWA, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance’s enviroTruck initiative received a welcome boost from the David Suzuki Foundation when it was presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance last week.
During the question and answer period at the committee’s pre-budget hearing held in Ottawa, Massimo Pacetti, Liberal MP from the riding of Saint-Lonard-Saint Michel, asked Pierre Sadik, policy advisor in the Foundation’s Sustainability Program, what he thought of CTA’s enviroTruck proposal. Sadik’s answer was encouraging and supportive of the enviroTruck concept: “From what I’ve heard here today, it sounds quite useful and would be quite helpful. I’m very pleased with the criteria [for] contaminants that [CTA CEO] Mr. Bradley was talking about, the reduction of NOx and the particulate matter.”
Pacetti’s reaction to this comment showed what CTA hopes is an emerging enthusiasm among lawmakers for an endorsement of the enviroTruck approach. He said, “I’m just wondering why you wouldn’t work…more closely with some of the groups like the Canadian Trucking Alliance…It would be easier for us to help make recommendations to the government.”
Over the past several months, since the enviroTruck concept was developed and endorsed by motor carriers across the country, CTA has recognized that support from respected environmental activists such as the Suzuki Foundation will be key to its acceptance by government. “The federal government in particular will need to step up to the plate to provide the right incentives to the industry to help deal with the increased costs of moving to the new generation of cleaner, more fuel efficient equipment, which was the main thrust of CTA’s budget proposals,” said CTA officials in a release. “So the comments by one of the Suzuki Foundation’s senior officials this week were welcome indeed.”
The Foundation’s presentation to the committee had concentrated on the need for a carbon tax. In responding to a question on how the environmental community would react to the removal of the excise tax on diesel fuel by harmonizing it with the GST, a proposal advanced by CTA to eliminate this regressive form of taxation, Sadik said, “We wouldn’t have a problem with the removal of excise taxes that were initially earmarked for deficit reduction.”
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