CTA urges definitive federal statement on fuel-tax relief

OTTAWA (April 6, 2000) — The Canadian Trucking Alliance says it welcomes recent statements in the House of Commons from federal finance minister Paul Martin that the federal government might reduce its excise taxes on fuel, so long as the provincial governments reduce theirs as well.

However, the trucking alliance, which is a federation of CanadaÕs provincial trucking associations representing about 3000 trucking companies, cautions that the finance minister’s comments, which were made during question period, do not appear to be a statement of government policy. Consequently, the truckers want Martin to demonstrate the federal governmentÕs seriousness by calling an early meeting with his provincial counterparts on the issue.

In a letter to the minister, CTA CEO David Bradley urged Martin to confirm that diesel fuel taxes as well as gasoline taxes are on the table and “to pursue this strategy with haste.”

“With fuel being the second largest component of motor carrier costs (up to 30% of operating costs in some cases) and the largest component of cost for independent owner-operators, the continuing impact of high fuel prices on Canadian competitiveness and the overall economy could be profound,” he said. “This is compounded by the fact that not only do the combined federal-provincial fuel taxes further inflate the cost of fuel, but they are also profit-insensitive.”

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