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  • ITVI.USA
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  • OTRI.USA
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News

Canadian Trucking Alliance to ask next government to freeze – not scrap – carbon tax for diesel

CTA President Stephen Laskowski says pivot reflects the political reality of federal election, which will see Trudeau and Liberals return to power weakened but in a Parliament dominated by parties that support carbon pricing.

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberals securing a victory, albeit with a weakened mandate, Canada’s largest trucking organization is preparing to push an agenda that recognizes the reality of the carbon tax, but seeks to freeze it for diesel. 

Preliminary results from the October 21 election show that nearly two-thirds of incoming members of Parliament will come from parties that support carbon taxes. 

“One thing to keep in mind, especially with the minority government, is that four political parties have all supported carbon taxes. Only Conservatives opposed it,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA). 

“If they won’t repeal the carbon tax, we’re going to be calling for them to cap it at C$0.06 per liter,” Laskowski said.

The CTA is non-partisan, but it has publicly expressed the frustrations of many carriers in Canada regarding the tax, which went into effect in April in provinces without their own schemes. The taxes are set to increase by more than C$0.13 per liter by 2022. 

The CTA and many carriers have criticized the government’s pricing scheme as unfairly punishing the industry when there is not a market-ready, zero-emissions alternative for diesel as far as long-haul trucking is concerned. 

Laskowski said the CTA will continue pressing for the federal government to return all carbon tax revenues to the trucking industry. “That is the right thing to do so carriers can invest in greener equipment,” Laskowski said.

The election results also led one of Canada’s conservative provincial leaders to reconsider opposing the tax. Blaine Higgs, premier of New Brunswick, announced the shift after Conservatives won four of the province’s 10 seats. 

 “People voted for it, so we in New Brunswick have to find a way to make it work,” Higgs said, according to Global News

Other conservative premiers including Ontario’s Doug Ford have had to address their province’s carbon-tax fights following the election.

The election showed that while voters may have tired on Trudeau and his Liberal Party, they backed parties that prioritize climate change. 

The Conservative Party made scrapping the tax a central promise in its campaign. While it galvanized the base, it may have hurt the party, particularly in the absence of a well-articulated climate change plan, said David Coletto, CEO of polling firm Abacus Data.  

“The emphasis on the carbon tax is highly polarizing,” said David Coletto, CEO of polling firm Abacus Data.  

Coletto said, however, that Trudeau’s minority government would be “foolish and unwise” to abandon the interests of the voters in energy-rich Western Canada, who feel alienated by carbon pricing and other policies to fight climate change.  

CTA sees room for engagement with the new government

Looking beyond the carbon tax, Laskowski said the CTA wants to have a strong relationship with Trudeau’s next government.

“The previous Liberal government was very receptive to working with us. We want to build upon that,” he said.

Transport Canada worked closely with the CTA on the country’s electronic logging device mandate and developing driver training standards. 

Laskowski said the CTA will push for a federal crackdown on carriers operating on the Driver Inc. model, where employee-drivers are misclassified as independent contractors. 

“Without question, it’s a big issue for our membership. We need strong commitments from the CRA [Canadian Revenue Agency] and the Ministry of Labor to enforce the law.”

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Nate Tabak, Canada Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist who covers Canada for FreightWaves. He spent seven years as an investigative reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley.

2 Comments

  1. Quote:
    “Canada’s largest trucking organization is preparing to push an agenda ”
    LOL , that’s certainly not a surprise .

    Quote:
    ” The CTA is non-partisan, but it has publicly expressed the frustrations of many carriers in Canada regarding the tax,”

    Join the Canadian citizen club ! They too are frustrated with getting taxed up the wazoo for the benefit of Canadian CORPORATIONS !

    Quote:
    “The CTA and many carriers have criticized the government’s pricing scheme as unfairly punishing the industry”

    What about the carriers schemes lobbying government for more immigration truck drivers which unfairly punishes truck drivers and OO’s wages due to a hocus pocus truck driver shortage rant which caused a truck driver glut ???

    What about the carrier per mile truck driver wage scheme ? How about the PC Miler used by carriers scheme ? ETC ETC ETC !

    Quote:
    “CTA wants to have a strong relationship with Trudeau’s next government.” ,

    LOL yeah sure no doubt . Most corporations do in an attempt to increase their own “financial benefits” per their “agenda” . (wink)

    In my humble opinion ………..

  2. I just read this :

    Mental health issues impacting trucking industry

    Google it !

    From my perspective truck drivers feel intimidated by Carrier Trucking Associations due to the fact that they represent multiple Carriers with big money which allows them to lobby government as a powerful group to push forward their self serving agenda from which they solely benefit from . This in turn renders attempting to compete at a great disadvantage .

    ELD regulation has caused the majority of truck drivers enormous stress . The fact that trucking associations and insurance companies collude for their mutual personal financial benefit gives them an enormous competitive advantage over smaller carriers and truck drivers . They (major motor carriers through their associations along with Insurance companies) both discriminate against a minority group .

    From my perspective truck drivers have been and most are emotionally and psychologically scared due to the industry’s constant abuse . The majority of truck drivers feel constantly compelled by force, intimidation, or authority, especially without regard for individual desire or volition to do things the trucking industry’s way or it’s the highway . The industry’s constant and never ending manipulation and unfair practices has burned many out of the trucking profession and many more will undoubtedly follow suit .

    I sincerely believe that if most truck drivers could recognize and or identify through proper diagnoses their anguish caused by the trucking industry , there would be very few drivers that wouldn’t be put on long term sick leave . And that does not include those that suffer from post traumatic stress disorder of which symptoms may appear years after an event.

    The severe emotional ,mental, and physical strain that the trucking industry has caused and is causing the majority of truck drivers is nothing less than an epidemic of extreme anguish . Unfortunately professional truck driving is nothing less than utter emotional , physical ,and mental torture under current circumstances . The majority of truck drivers are at a point of desperation to be heard . This will surely and eventually lead to rash and or extreme behavior that could potentially transition into an economic dilemma if continued to go unnoticed . We have seen it occur in foreign countries . We can prevent this from eventually occurring in ours . And from my perspective it’s not a question of “if” , but a question of “when” , in my humble opinion …………….

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