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OTTAWA, Ont. — Federal Transport Minister David Collenette has reintroduced a series of amendments to the Motor Vehicle Transport Act, 1987, (MVTA) in the Senate.

“These amendments establish carrier safety as the primary focus of the federal regulation of motor carriers, and create the tools for ensuring national consistency in safety performance regulation,” says Collenette. He adds the revisions illustrate how to use National Safety Code standards as the basis for creating a national safety rating system measured by actual road performance.

Transport Canada has several other goals in mind for a strengthened MVTA, too. It hopes a national framework for provinces and territories to continue to administer motor carrier safety regulation will result.

Consistent regulation of motor carriers across Canada has hamstrung the introduction of a national safety rating system in the past. The feds hope these updates, if passed, will ensure that Canada has the tools to harmonize motor carrier regulatory standards both internally and internationally.

If this notion of MVTA reform sounds familiar there’s a very good reason for that. According to Derek Sweet, acting director general of Transport Canada’s policy branch, the current incarnation of the Bill was originally tabled in the Commons last year.

“Bill C-28 got held up last fall because of the election,” he says. “We’re starting all over … but it looks as though a little procrastination has helped us here.”

He explains the actual ratings issued through the proposed carrier performance system had been a point of contention. Quebec had three different ratings it was prepared to issue fleets, while the rest of the country was going with four.

“There are now four safety rating levels,” says Sweet. “Quebec made the change last fall.”

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