Truckers teach Transport boss a thing or two about trucking
TORONTO – – An earful.
That’s what Canada’s Public Safety Minister Vic Toews got when he met face-to-face with an a-team representing the Canadian Trucking Industry earlier this week.
The 18-wheel summit took place at the Toronto headquarters of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and about a dozen carriers and drivers showed up in person while another 25 looped in via the web to express their views to the senior minister.
Topping the agenda: Cargo crime and the necessity for law-enforcement officials to treat it with more gravity.
“While the trucking industry has made substantial investments in security programs and policies, organized criminals are not deterred,” CTA President and CEO David Bradley said.
“In the absence of a greater enforcement effort and penalties, the return from cargo crime is seen as far outweighing the risk by many criminals.”
The industry is calling for increased enforcement resources to be allocated to the problem and for the courts to get tougher with penalties, especially the government’s new “tough on crime” legislation.
CTA noted that organized crime syndicates are playing an increasing role in cargo crimes.
“We hope to raise awareness of the scope and seriousness of cargo crime,” Bradley said, “…of its true costs to my industry, to the supply chain and to the Canadian economy as a whole to provide you and us with the legal framework, the tools and the resources to take this increasingly lucrative and violent crime on and to apprehend and convict, with appropriate sentences, the organized crime syndicates and other criminals that perpetrate these crimes.”
The CTA hopes this week’s meeting will contribute not only to a better mutual understanding of each other’s concerns and actions but that it will feed directly into both the Regulatory Cooperation Council and the Beyond the Border Working Group — two consultative bodies formed after Prime Minister Harper’s and President Obama’s announcement of negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement on a joint perimeter security strategy.
Other issues raised such topics in-transit movements, re-positioning of foreign empty trailers, true mutual recognition of the trusted trader programs PIP and C-TPAT, due process and appeals for trusted traders, flexibility in the application of FAST lane policies, integration between CBSA and other departments, infrastructure investments and the utilization of existing technologies to expedite legitimate traffic flows.
In an official statement after the meeting, Bradley said the meeting gave the minister a chance to hear first-hand accounts from people most impacted by the current situation at the border and by cargo crime as well as the opportunity to inform the industry about what projects his government has already taken or is contemplating.
Commented Bradley: “We are delighted the minister took the time to come and visit with the industry directly. There’s nothing like hearing for himself about the issues the people that live and breathe the border daily are encountering.”
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