By: Jean Claude Fortin
As a 60-year veteran of the trucking industry, I have witnessed dramatic changes in my career. However, one thing has remained constant – the resiliency and dedication of our people. When I started in the industry as a young man, I was shown the value of working hard by many wonderful, dedicated professionals, who also taught me about safety and customer service. Through people like them, I gained an appreciation for the important role our sector plays in the economy and how all Canadians depend on trucking to get the goods they need. As I look back at all the changes after six decades – including those that sprung from the pandemic – I still see that same resiliency and dedication of our people and our industry and it still makes me as proud as ever to be part of it.
I have always said trucking is the greatest industry to work in because we have the greatest people. Well, we have proved that to be true throughout this crisis. Around the country, respect for Canada’s trucking industry and our professional truck drivers has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. For many Canadians, there is now a much greater appreciation for the role our industry plays in their daily lives and the economy. And while National Trucking Week is an excellent opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate our workforce and their accomplishments, it is my hope this recognition continues past Labour Day and that our industry continues to get the attention it deserves from the public and all levels of government.
While the businesses that make up our industry have all had somewhat different challenges based on the regions they operate, the goods they haul and their own personal circumstances, there continues to be a consistent theme nationally – that we must all work together to raise the bar in our sector and showcase the incredible contributions our industry makes to Canada’s prosperity. As Chairperson of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), I have the privilege of working with some of the best and brightest in the industry in making this vision a reality, including the CTA Board, the seven provincial associations in the CTA federation, and the dedicated suppliers that form CTA Team Canada Elite. I would like to thank them all for their time and dedication to CTA and the industry.
As we all know, it has not been easy to keep the economy rolling through this crisis. Our businesses and people have faced countless obstacles; and will undoubtedly face more before it’s over. However, we will continue to rise to the occasion and eventually come through this as a stronger and more unified industry. We are truly an industry populated by resilient, professional, and committed people. To all those that make their living in our sector, I want to say thank you for your commitment to keeping the Canadian economy moving during very challenging times. Sixty years later, you are still the constant that makes trucking great.
On behalf of myself and the CTA Board of Directors, I want to wish you all a happy National Trucking Week.