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OTA prez hails Ontario-Quebec trade agreement

TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario Trucking Association president David Bradley has applauded the Trade and Coopera...

TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario Trucking Association president David Bradley has applauded the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between Ontario and Quebec. Bradley, speaking to about 100 policy-makers at a recent Public Policy Forum event, said the agreement “will help usher in a new era in terms of the competitiveness, productivity, safety and environmental sustainability between and within the two provinces.”


Bradley said that, prior to negotiations, the OTA had three recommendations for Ontario’s lead negotiator, Jim Peterson, the former federal Minister of International Trade:


1. For the two provinces to harmonize the introduction of legislation to mandate the activation of speed limiters on all trucks operating into, out of and within both provinces;


2. For Ontario to increase the allowable axle weights for trucks using the new generation of fuel efficient wide-base single truck tires to harmonize them with the allowable weights for conventional dual tires and with the standards that already existed in Quebec; and


3. For Ontario to conduct a trial of the controlled use of longer combination vehicles (LCVs) that had been in use in Quebec and other jurisdictions for years.


Bradley told the audience that when Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that his province would be moving to introduce all three of OTA’s recommendations, “We felt like we had just scored a hat-trick.”


Since that time, both Ontario and Quebec have passed identical speed limiter laws, Ontario has increased the allowable weights for wide-base single tires to 9,000 kg per axle, and the Ontario LCV trial started in August.


However, Bradley says Quebec still has some work to do. For example, he said that while Ontario is allowing the higher weights on wide-base single tires, Quebec has yet to remove its $200 per axle permit for these tires despite promises to do so. “This has stymied the introduction of this more fuel efficient, GHG-busting technology,” Bradley said.


He said that OTA had been informed that Quebec was prepared to introduce a stop-gap measure of reducing the permit fee to a token amount ($2 per axle) until such a time as a regulatory window opened to repeal the permits, but that has not happened.


“We have been given different excuses: the narrow regulatory window, changes in personnel at the MTQ (Ministry of Transport Quebec), etc. The latest we heard is that we may have to wait until March. This is disappointing and unacceptable given the degree to which Ontario has moved and when reducing GHG is supposed to be a major policy priority.”

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