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WINNIPEG, Man. — Informative business sessions and interesting speakers highlighted this year’s Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) convention.

“We had a fairly strong turnout … The Associated Trades Division deserves a lot of recognition for this event; without their support this wouldn’t be such a success,” says Scott Kinley, of Gladstone Transfer, who was this year’s convention chair. “It can be tough to pick a business session that people won’t get bored with, but I think we did a great job in focusing on e-commerce.”

One of the event’s key speakers — Don Norquay, assistant deputy minister of transportation policy and regulation with Manitoba Transportation and Government Services — praised the MTA for the choice.

“I would like to commend convention organizers for their timely choice of the ‘E-Commerce and Truck Transportation’ theme,” says Norquay. “It has been said that carriers are seeing Web site and e-commerce tools become as vital for trucking as air brakes. While this may be somewhat of an exaggeration, there is no question that Internet technology is revolutionizing the way everyone does business, including truckers.”

The event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Tim Ball, both entertained and informed with his somewhat rouge explanation of why the greenhouse effect is nothing more than an incorrect theory.

For the 28-year-old Kinley, the event marked his fourth year involved with the MTA’s board.

“I came from a smaller carrier with only about 10 trucks and at first I was nervous to be dealing with the bigger 300-truck operations,” he admits. “But the association, and convention, are great. You realize everyone — big or small — faces the same issues everyday.”

He encourages others to get involved no matter where they are located or how small their operation.

“You get to see different ideas and make contacts with organizations like Manitoba Public Insurance and the original equipment suppliers,” he says.

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