David Bradley, president, Ontario Trucking Association and CEO, the Canadian Trucking Alliance, told attendees at the 2004 annual Road Carrier Night in Mississauga on April 1, that he had confidence in the new governments at both the federal and provincial levels.
Bradley said that both governments, under Paul Martin and Dalton McGuinty, respectively, have lots to deal with, but that both Ministers of Transport, Tony Valeri and Harinder Takhar, are "quality people" who are already experienced on the business side.
"What’s really missing now is an economic vision for Canada," said Bradley. He said however that the role that freight transport plays in the economy, as a taxpayer, and in international trade is not fully recognized.
"A national transportation policy is needed," he added, especially to avoid such "national embarrassments" as the border congestion problems at the Windsor crossing.
"We need a tax system that makes sense, and policies that recognize truck drivers as employees. The OTA and the CTA are seeking a livable, respectable tax regime that addresses the concerns of the industry. Be on guard for new regulations," he said.
Bradley noted however that not all government problems were home-grown, citing the new U.S. hours of service rules, the U.S. security budget and requirements, and the EPA 2006 emissions standards, all of which put pressure on the trucking industry both sides of the border.
That said, Bradley concluded that he expects the industry will rise above and survive challenges.
"Carriers always do prevail. The industry is just starting to mature and capacity is just starting to rationalize itself," he said.
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