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TORONTO, Ont. — The National Truckers Alliance of Canada (NTAC) says regional priorities took a back seat at its inaugural meeting held over the weekend

The discussions of the newly formed owner/operator group included the need to bring, the driver’s perspective to all levels of government, O/Os and driver safety concerns, as well as economic and quality-of-life issues. The group noted that comments from the various participants reflected the determination of the group to achieve national status.

The NTAC is designed such that provincial representatives will bring regional concerns to the attention of the national direction.

The meeting was convened by the Oshawa, Ont.-based National Truckers Association, headed by Bill Wellman, and included Com-Car Owner Operators Association; the Eastern Truckers Alliance; the National Association of Professional Drivers; and the Newfoundland & Labrador Independent Truckers Association.

Also in attendance was the Ontario Trucking Association’s Professional Drivers and Operators Forum, represented by Leo Van Tuyl.

“A greater benefit for all drivers will arise from national representation,” says Rick McCulloch, of the Halifax-based Eastern Truckers Alliance.

The NTAC is pressing the federal government for $400,000 to build the cross-country network. The funds would cover start-up costs for the groups, with additional operating revenue coming from membership dues.

The weekend meeting was organized by former Mackie Moving Systems executive Phil Megher, who has been hired by Industry Canada to assess the association needs among O/Os in Canada.

“I think Industry Canada recognizes the importance of O/Os, but they want to invest in something that has a chance to help them,” says Megher.

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