Saying that trucking is critical to the Canadian economy and the country's trading relationship with the United States, Canadian Transport Minister Steven Fletcher told the Manitoba Trucking Association that he will work to promote harmonization in the country's trucking regulations, eliminating ineffective rules while bolstering those that have impact in the industry.
Among his priorities are safety rating reciprocity and establishing a national safety code relating to securing cargo, vehicle inspections and electronic on-board readers.
Fletcher said he has been reviewing Transport Canada's regulations and will make a report in the spring concerning repairing and amending the nation's trucking rules. He is currently gathering input from stakeholders across the supply chain to see how current regulations can be improved.
Our government is committed to streamlining regulations and reducing regulatory burden on Canadian businesses. We want our regulatory system to provide value to Canadians taxpayers, consumers and industry," he told the gathering.
Discussing non-regulatory matters, he highlighted the industry's recent launch of Trucking Human Resources Canada, an organization meant to combat the impending driver shortage in the country. Fletcher pledged to keep the driver issue on the front burner, adding that any hitch in the trucking industry's workforce could affect the wider economy.
Finally, he stressed progress is being made on border investments geared toward strengthening trade between Canada and the United States. The Beyond the Border Action Plan will bring infrastructure, technology and safety improvements to the key crossings. Emerson, Manitoba, he said, is one of the first five priority locations that will be studied.
Fletcher tried to reassure the audience he is committed to the trucking industry and will explore all the options when trying to rejuvenate the broader Canadian supply chain.
"To prosper in today's global economy, we need all transportation networks in Canada to be efficient, fast and reliable," he said. "Anything less will make Canada less competitive with markets and shippers around the world." - Jon Ross