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OTTAWA, Ont. — Transportation Minister David Collenette says he is fed up with the lack of consistency in how truck safety rules are applied in the country’s 10 provinces.

“I am impatient with the differences in safety regimes from coast to coast, and I’m fed up with all these jurisdictional arguments. We (the federal government) have jurisdiction in this case,” he said in a speech at the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association’s 85th annual conference March 5.

He stressed that government also has a role ensuring the transportation industry puts safety in the forefront–across all modes. To that end, he used as an example the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, which is now before the Senate.

The Act he said will allow for the rating of motor carriers in similar fashion across several jurisdictions.

Collenette said that the review of the Canada Transportation Act will also provide for some guidance into the climate of competition in Canada’s railways, since–outside of the Competition Act–there is no structure to analyze merger issues.

He noted that became painfully clear during the Air Canada and Canadian Airlines merger last year.

Collenette also stressed the need for upfront strategic planning in the transportation industry, and for the development of a national transportation system.

He said that 40 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) depends on trade, and that the country has to look for competitive advantages wherever possible.

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