Provincial partnership could prove positive for industry

TORONTO — The joint cabinet meeting between Ontario and Quebec is getting rave reviews from certain industry sectors, including trucking.

The Ontario Trucking Association is applauding the results of the meeting – even going as far as to call it historic – for the effort to create a smoother framework for movement of goods between the neighboring provinces.

“The two governments are moving forward on each of the priority items we recommended they pursue,” said OTA president David Bradley. “For a first ever meeting of this type this is a great way to start. Premiers McGuinty and Charest are to be congratulated.”

Initial news reports following the meeting focused on an agreement for a new carbon cap-and-trade system. But the partnership will move beyond the environment and try to improve trade flow.

Ontario and Quebec will team up on a few measures specific for trucking, including speed limiter implementation, regulations for wide single tires and a program to allow long combination vehicles (LCVs) on the highway systems.

Bradley said there will still be a lot of work to be done to bring these commitments to completion but says, “now that the direction has been set we look forward to working with the two governments and with our partners, the Quebec Trucking Association to bring these matters to fruition as soon as possible.”

The new framework agreement is also being praised by the manufacturing sector, which hopes improved trade will also improve market conditions in the provinces.

“This is a key example of what can be done to facilitate trade between the two provinces,” said Jayson Myers, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters president. “We cannot continue to operate in a world where Quebec and Ontario companies have fewer barriers to the Chinese market than they do between their own markets.”

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