TORNTO, Ont. — The Canadian Trucking Alliance went green in its federal pre-budget submission.
In the submission, CTA outlined how the environment is a clear priority for the industry, which is currently engaged in preparing for mandates aimed at reducing GHGs and other emissions from the sector. As the pre-budget submission notes, the trucking industry is one of the only sectors impacted by both equipment emissions regulations as well as carbon pricing.
CTA urged the government to adopt the Alliance’s SMART approach, designed to avoid equipment reliability issues associated with previously mandated, untested equipment and technologies which proved unsuitable for Canadian operating conditions.
“The industry’s negative experience with the installation of emission reduction equipment … has created a level of mistrust within the industry when it comes to regulating unproven technology,” the submission reads.
In its 2016 budget, Ottawa introduced a measure that would no longer allow transportation companies to apply for federal excise tax refunds on diesel fuel used for these devices to generate electricity. But this motion discourages transportation companies from investing in technologies to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint and adds cost to the safe transportation and handling of food products, CTA noted.
“Not only do these technologies greatly assist our industry in meeting the emission reduction targets we are responsible for, but they are also vital to the operation of our businesses and the customers we serve, particularly in the agriculture, food and pharmaceutical sectors,” says CTA president David Bradley. “This measure is unfair and costly and it would send a wrong message to the marketplace.”
CTA says revenues generated from the excise tax on diesel fuel – which currently flows into general revenues – and any potential funds generated from carbon pricing mechanisms, need to be reinvested back into the industry now more than ever.
“There is ample good reason to eliminate the excise tax and bring diesel fuel taxation within the GST/HST envelope,” said Bradley. “At the very least, the revenue it generates should be dedicated to policy purposes related to the industry that pays the tax. So, why not start with supporting some of these technologies, which at least have the benefit of bridging the industry’s environmental goals with those of both government and society?”