Ontario Truckers Gain PC Support on Fighting Fee Hike

TORONTO — Newmarket-Aurora MPP Frank Klees, PC Critic for Transportation and Infrastructure, said that he’s on the side of Ontario truckers in regards to the government’s 70 percent increase to commercial vehicle licence plates fees.

As it stands now, heavy commercial vehicle validation fees are going up by 70 per cent over a 12-month period, with the first 30 per cent kicking in December 1 of this year, followed by another 40 per cent December 1, 2013.

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) started an automated email campaign that allows trucking company managers and owner-operators to easily send a letter to their local MPP protesting the fee increase. And while not much can be done about the first phase of the increase, the OTA is hoping that it can garner enough support that the second phase of the increase can be extended over a longer period of time.

To date, OTA said over 700 people have gone to the OTA site and sent an email to their MPPs. Click here to go to the OTA site.

Klees, in a letter to the OTA, said that he recognizes that additional revenue is needed for road maintenance as the government faces “a serious fiscal crisis,” and that commercial licence fees have not increased since 1998, but that he, as well as colleagues in the PC Caucus, echo the OTA position that the 70 percent increase is “unreasonable and poorly timed.”

Klees also said that he supports the OTA’s proposal that all heavy commercial vehicles should be required to pay registration fees. Utility trucks, such as mobile cranes, vacuum trucks, concrete pumping trucks, street sweepers and water trucks, are exempt from paying vehicle registration fees. That’s a major revenue leak “that is being absorbed by the trucking industry,” OTA said.

Charging plate fees for these types of vehicles “would ensure that everyone using our public infrastructure pays their fair share, rather than impose an onerous increase on those who have been carrying the load for the entire bill,” wrote Klees.

“We will continue to advocate on your behalf and remain hopeful that the government will accept the OTA’s proposals, which we believe are fair and reasonable.”

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