News: Business Environment
0 Comments Bookmark and Share

The carbon-pricing "horse is out of the barn": Laskowksi

CTA McKenna trucksOTTAWA, ON -- A discussion paper released today by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna reveals the federal government’s potential strategy for imposing a national minimum price on carbon by the end of 2018 for those provinces that do not have their own system in place.

Currently, four provinces – British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec – have some form of carbon pricing mechanism, whether that be a carbon tax, a cap and trade system, or, as is the case in Alberta, a combination of the two. The structure announced today by the federal government is similar to the latter.

The remaining provinces, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces currently do not have a carbon pricing system in place.

With the Canadian government also committed to carbon pricing, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) would have preferred a consistent, transparent, revenue-neutral national framework, which would have worked the same way in all provinces. Most importantly, all revenues generated should have been plowed back into industry programs to accelerate investment and early adoption of green, fuel efficient technology. 

The CTA says it’s not conceptually opposed to market-based solutions like carbon pricing, contending that since diesel fuel is the second-largest operating cost component after labor, the industry already has a built-in rationale to pursue improved fuel economy.

It also points to the fact trucking is currently the only freight mode in Canada subject to regulations requiring trucks be equipped with carbon-reduction technologies. A second, even more stringent phase of these regulations has already been published in the Canada Gazette. 

“However, with each province doing its own thing, the horse is now out of the barn,” says CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The Pan-Canadian approach has not materialized and this increases the administrative burden on industries like trucking which cross-provincial and international borders.”

CTA believes it’s imperative the federal government allocate revenues from its pricing scheme into an incentive program aimed at accelerating lower carbon technologies, devices, and fuels into the marketplace. Quebec is currently the only province reinvesting in green truck technology. Ontario has indicated intentions to introduce a green truck strategy, but it has not yet been announced.  

CTA will be submitting its official comments to the discussion paper by the June 30 deadline.

Email Editor