Fortin to lead CTA, Sutherland chairman of labor task force

by Today's Trucking

TORONTO, Ont. – Jean-Claude Fortin, president and CEO of JE Fortin in St-Bernard de Lacolle, Que., has been named chairman of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).

He begins a two-year term, replacing Scott Smith of JD Smith & Sons.

Jean-Claude Fortin

Other officers include vice-chairman Greg Munden, president of Munden Ventures and former chairman of the BC Trucking Association; and secretary-treasurer Greg Arndt, the vice-president of Jade Transport and former president of the Manitoba Trucking Association.

The appointments were announced during the CTA’s annual general meeting, held virtually this year because of Covid-19.

Fortin is one of the longest-serving members of the CTA board, and represents the third generation to lead JE Fortin – a fleet with 75 trucks, 160 trailers, and 95 employees. The business also operates TSX Transport.

“I love trucking,” Fortin said through a news release from CTA. “The industry, and CTA in particular, has given me and my family so much and opened up so many doors for my business. As chair, this is my chance to give back to the industry and the community. I believe that in order to have a viable industry, you need to have an effective alliance of provincial associations proudly working together.”  

He has also been an executive board member of the Quebec Trucking Association for 20 years. His eldest daughter, Annie, is now secretary of the executive committee for that provincial association. His youngest daughter, Caroline, will be chairwoman of the group’s next conference, to be held in 2021.

“I have seen many changes in trucking and there will be many more in the near future, even in the short time before I hang up my keys,” Fortin said. “I look forward to the challenge of steering the alliance through these interesting times.”

In related news, the CTA has named Sutco Transportation president Doug Sutherland as chairman of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on labor issues. CS Day Transport president Heather Day will serve as vice-chairwoman.

“Like many sectors of the economy, the trucking industry is facing challenges in replacing an aging workforce. Recruiting and retaining new entrants is a critical issue facing all companies in the trucking industry, from carriers to suppliers,” Sutherland said.

He is an executive board member of the BC Trucking Association and Canadian Trucking Alliance. Prior to joining Sutco, Sutherland was general manager of Summit Truck and Equipment Repair, which along with Sutco is part of the Sutherland Group of Companies that also includes BC EcoChips and Landmark Timber Services.

Day is an executive member with the Saskatchewan Trucking Association.

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  • The C T A needs to look at treatment of truck drivers and mechanics and work together to make truck drivering more attractive. Many truck drivers are doing other things including being homeless after getting injured or sick. Many C T A members have a bad record for handling wage claims. The current model is based on bringing in cheaper foreign people when truck drivers quit because of poor pay and treatment or lack of safe places to park with E-logs.

  • Perfect choice. During my last visit to the Sutco office in Kelowna I noticed that Sutco had installed a large lounge, tv room, gym, cafeteria, and resting area that is accessible to drivers at all hours. Really impressive. They clearly understand the importance of retaining good drivers.

    • I am really glad to hear this I hope that this level of care for truck drivers is very nice. There are some really good companies out there. I see many smaller trucking companies that put their truck drivers safety as top priority. They have people lined up to work for some of these people. Insurance is still a big issue that is why many of these companies are trying to join a captive.