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CTA Pre-Budget Spotlight: Reducing Interprovincial Trade Barriers Mean Flexibility, Supply Chain Efficiency

CTA has highlighted multiple interprovincial trade barriers in the trucking sector which create supply chain inefficiencies across the country that the federal government could assist with in Budget 2024. These were first noted in its  in its recent report to the Privy Council of Canada (PCO) in October 2023, with the Government of Canada also initiating a series of discussions groups to identify trade and mobility issues beginning in March.

“Financial supports from Budget 2024, whether directly for new infrastructure projects, or enhancements to existing provincial/territorial programs, or increased financial support for existing mechanisms at all levels of government to address trade barriers will undoubtedly strengthen and bring resiliency to the Canadian supply chain” said, Lak Shoan, Director, Policy & Industry Awareness Programs.

The recommendations CTA highlighted in its 2024 pre-budget submission are:

Aligning and Improving Winter Road Maintenance Standards: Ensuring that roads are cleared and maintained in a timely, reciprocal standard across all provinces and territories continues to be a significant irritant for fleets and truck drivers.

Increased Access to Rest Areas for Truck Drivers: The need for a robust network of rest areas has remained a legacy issue within our industry that has yet to be discussed or addressed in a coordinated effort across the country.

The Twinning of Highway 185 in Quebec: If completed, the twinning would connect all of Eastern Canada with four lane highways from Halifax to Toronto. Upgrading Highway 185, often cited as one of the most dangerous highways in Canada, should markedly improve safety.

LCV Harmonization in the Western Provinces: Some Western Canadian carriers have highlighted the need to further harmonize certain requirements, such as training standards between provinces through their respective Long Combination Vehicle (LCV) programs. These requirements may also include permit conditions and harmonizing licenses and certifications for truck drivers operating these vehicles.

Oversize/Overweight Sector Issues: Carriers that move oversize and overweight equipment, such as cranes, heavy earthmoving and excavation equipment, wind turbine blades and other commodities vital to major infrastructure and construction projects, have strongly indicated this segment requires rapid modernization to reduce inefficient processes that can often delay infrastructure projects.

Availability of Motor Carrier Information: Having a centralized system where safety related data and other types of information, such as verification of labour and tax compliance, available for all trucking companies operating in Canada, will help ensure a level playing field in our sector.

Developing a System of Oversight/Accountability for Truck Safety: CTA strongly supports the consistent oversight and accountability of all trucking companies operating on Canadian roads from a safety perspective, regardless of their base of jurisdiction.

Spring Weight Restrictions and Road Bans: The patchwork of weight regulations across jurisdictions during the spring season creates logistical challenges and inefficiencies for the supply chain when shipping interprovincial goods.

Expanding Access to Cell Service: The timely exchange of data and use of technology to share information across platforms helps ensure our sector can continue to serve Canada’s supply chain needs as seamlessly as possible.

For a copy of the CTA pre-budget submission, CTA member carriers can contact their provincial trucking association.

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