OTA appears before Queen’s Park committee on emergency preparedness

by Canadian Shipper

Ontario Trucking Association President David Bradley appeared Wednesday before a Queen’s Park legislative justice committee studying Ontario’s emergency preparedness.

He told the Committee that the trucking industry plays a vital role in keeping the economy moving during crisis situations and delivering much-needed food, medical, equipment and other supplies during emergency situations

In making the presentation, Bradley was joined by OTA Vice President Barrie Montague and Doug Switzer, Manager of Government Relations.

Bradley also said there needs to be a clear focus on border problems, and that the Ontario government must have a specific strategic plan and funding in place for investment in border infrastructure such as bridges and approaches, as well as for highway investment.

“There must be adequate funding for enforcement on highways and the approaches to the border, and emergency response plans should be developed for the approaches to the border,” said Bradley, who asked MPPs how the province’s economy could withstand a terrorist attack on key border infrastructure like a major bridge crossing.

“The trucking industry needs to know what role it is expected to play in an emergency in order to respond quickly and effectively,” said Bradley. “The transportation component of getting food, supplies and equipment to where they are needed, or to market, is often an afterthought. Governments and relief agencies often leave transportation considerations to the last and/or don’t know who to call.”

Bradley also urged the province to establish an emergency stockpile of fuel during a crisis and to temporarily suspend or exempt drivers from operating regulations such as hours of service and truck weights and dimensions. He also raised the issue of liability insurance while operating under emergency situations, as well as route planning and crash clean-up.

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