Scott Smith’s term as chair the Canadian Trucking Alliance has been memorable, lined with unprecedented challenges and triumphs in just two years.
This week, CTA named its new Chair, Jean Claude Fortin of J.E. Fortin, to take over for Scott Smith, whose term has come to end. Following the CTA’s annual general meeting today, Smith took time to reflect upon his effortful stint as head of the Alliance.
During that time, the Alliance has shown immeasurable leadership as the industry grappled with two major crises in the Humboldt tragedy and the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the industry was also facing a myriad of other long-standing issues such as implementation of a national carbon tax, ELD legislation and third-party certification, an increase in non-compliant Driver Inc companies entering the industry, a new binational trade agreement in CUSMA, and demanding labour legislation changes, just to name a few.
“As chair of the Ontario Trucking Association from 2004-2006, I got a taste for the role,” said the immediate past CTA Chair. “But nothing could have prepared me for what was to come with the Humboldt tragedy and the COVID-19 pandemic and the flood of changes that the industry was expected to adapt to in a short period of time. I think that in many of these instances, CTA and our member carriers across the country were asked by governments and the public to step up and work collaboratively and show leadership and guidance. I’m proud to say we answered the call as best as we could.”
During Smith’s term, CTA was able to achieve dozens of advancements for the sector, including, just to name just a few:
- Introduction of a national pre-licence training standard;
- Introduction of third-party certified ELD regulation;
- Introduction of accelerated CCA rates for tractors;
- Introduction of increased meal allowance for truck drivers;
- Awareness campaign as regulators increase attention on illegal Driver Inc. carriers;
- Reduction in AMPS penalties with CBSA introduction of truck-turn-around policy;
- Truck driver exemption from new scheduling provisions;
- Opening stages of a national industry image and recruitment campaign;
- #Thankatrucker and COVID-19 awareness industry appreciation campaigns.
See a full list of actions and achievements here.
“The last two years have been extremely productive but looking back, I’m most proud of how CTA is working at an unprecedented level as a cohesive federation of seven different organizations, each with many active member carriers who offer diversity of experiences and areas of expertise,” said Smith. “Together we are stronger; and the stronger we are the more effective we are. I have no doubt that under Chair Fortin, CTA will continue to grow and advance the progress we’ve made for our industry.”