The Canadian Trucking Alliance submitted its 2018 Pre-Budget paper to the federal government, which prioritizes support and investment for enduring industry issues related to the environment, taxation, cross-border trade and highway infrastructure.
On the environment and climate change, the Alliance reiterated that the trucking industry is firmly committed to reducing its carbon footprint; but for its part, the government should be removing barriers that discourage carriers from investing in greener technology. A good start, says CTA, is reintroducing the ability for carriers to apply for federal excise tax refunds on diesel fuel used for anti-idling devices and other GHG-reducing technology. The government removed that provision in the 2016 budget – a decision CTA has been urging Ottawa to reverse.
Additionally, CTA once again highlighted the administrative and competitive challenges of the Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s proposal for a carbon pricing system. CTA does not necessarily oppose a market-based carbon mechanism, but warned Ottawa’s proposal imposes dramatic price increases in a very short time, without factoring sectorial economic conditions. The plan, meanwhile, downloads a complicated administrative burden on motor carriers and does not appear to reinvest generated revenue back into the industry to spur carbon reduction technology. It also creates major competitive issues and cost disparities between Canadian and U.S. carriers, says CTA.
The government’s controversial planned tax changes have grabbed headlines as of late and CTA echoed its concerns that many carriers, especially small businesses, will be negatively impacted – namely in areas related to accumulation of capital, family business succession and competition with US operators.
With NAFTA negotiations in full swing, CTA’s submission reinforced industry’s need for improved cross-border efficiencies and security processes. Its paper stated CBSA’s resources have not kept pace with the rate of surface trade growth and the historical lack of staffing at major border crossings has been exacerbated by outdated IT system failures. CTA called for investments in advanced technology, such as biometrics and RFID and urged Canada to continue working with U.S. counterparts to resolve in-transit truck routes, empty trailer moves, cargo pre-clearance, and harmonization of security programs.
With its members being a major user of Canada’s road infrastructure, the Alliance stressed that adequate and well-maintained roads and bridges are of the utmost importance to get goods across the country and to international markets. The submission calls for federal investment in several potential projects to address urgent capacity constraints and keep goods moving efficiently along Canada’s trade corridors.
Click here for CTA’s full pre-budget submission: Pre-Budget Consaultation_public