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CTA gives positive reaction to new majority government

TORONTO, Ont. -- The Canadian Trucking Alliance is looking forward to a period of economic stability following the election of the Conservative Party in a majority government last night.

TORONTO, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance is looking forward to a period of economic stability following the election of the Conservative Party in a majority government last night.

The group noted that while the Conservatives and their new official opposition party, the NDP, differ greatly on ideological terms, their federalist stance will allow for broad national representation.

“Now that [the Conservative Party] enjoys a strong majority and will no longer have to govern with the threat of being brought down on a day-to-day basis, we are looking forward to enhanced dialogue and consultation with the government on policies and rules impacting our industry,” said CTA CEO David Bradley in a released post-election statement. “CTA looks forward to working with the new government and to playing a constructive role in ensuring that Canada has the most vibrant, competitive and efficient supply chain on the planet.”

However, Bradley noted that the group’s expectations for the new government are high. “In the immediate term, we will be looking for initiatives introduced by the Harper government before the election – the Red Tape Reduction Commission, the Perimeter Security negotiations and the Regulatory Harmonization Council – to provide tangible benefits to the trucking industry by reducing its administrative burden, by making our borders more efficient and by providing real value-added benefits to membership in the ‘trusted trader’ programs.”

Bradley said the CTA will also be looking to the government to pursue opportunities to harmonize Canadian and US regulations, to reconsider the proposed biodiesel mandate, and to find out whether some of the programs announced in the March budget are consistent with the CTA’s proposals for encouraging voluntary investment in GHG-reduction technology to complement and enhance the impact of the federal fuel economy standard for heavy trucks currently under development.

In addition, Bradley said the CTA “will be seeking tax measures to stimulate and accelerate investment in re-tooling our fleets that have been afforded to other industries and a better use of our tax dollars – particularly with regards to the archaic excise tax on diesel fuel which the PM promised to repeal by 50% during the 2008 election campaign.”

The CTA will also be urging the new federal transport minister to take a leadership role in exercising the government’s constitutional authority over extraprovincial trucking in order to increase the level of provincial compliance and harmonization with the National Safety Code. “We will urge the minister to work with us to actively pursue Canadian policies and rules on electronic onboard recorders, on driver fatigue and other key safety initiatives.”

Bradley also noted Canada’s need for “a new long-term, funded and sustainable program of highway investment to ensure the infrastructure keeps pace with future economic growth through strategic investment in new capacity and ongoing maintenance of the existing highways, roads and bridges.

“There is a lot of work to do to get the Canadian economy back on track and to enhance its resiliency. To the extent that the trucking industry has a role to play in that – and as the dominant mode of freight transportation it surely does – CTA is ready to roll up its sleeves and work in partnership with the new government. In fact, we can’t wait.”

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