New transport policy should be ushered in with new gov’t: Bradley

OTTAWA — Right after opening up Truck World 2006 in Toronto, Canadian Trucking Alliance CEO David Bradley hit the speaking circuit to promote economic policies for government and transportation.

While he continues to promote market-based solutions, Bradley also says a sound policy of fair, effective and reasonable regulations is a must, adding that the election of the new federal government “puts a fresh face on Parliament and builds expectations for a fresh approach and fresh policies.”

“What I think we need, rather than a transportation policy that recognizes and addresses economic issues while safeguarding public safety and the environment, is an economic policy that recognizes and addresses transportation issues while safeguarding public safety and the environment,”” he said. “If we continue to look at freight transportation in isolation, we will not achieve the results we want. We have got to get buy-in from other key federal departments, like Finance.

“We also need to get government and the leaders of the industries we serve, to stop taking freight transportation for granted or worse still looking at our sector as a necessary evil.”

Bradley says truckers aren’t looking for government to solve all the industry’s problems: “The industry needs to manage its capacity and its costs and the market will look after prices,” he says. “But government does have a key role in working with the industry on a fair, effective and reasonable regulatory environment. It is imperative that government provide the infrastructure the economy needs to grow.”

While Canada remains the only G-8 country not to have a funded, national highway strategy, which could also be used as leverage in dealing with the provinces on national trucking standards, Bradley says he is “cautiously optimistic that this might change,” given the Harper government’s election promise to negotiate a national highway and border infrastructure program with the provinces.

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