OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is urging the government to change how it looks at applying green initiatives to the trucking industry in its 2018 pre-budget paper submitted this week.
The CTA says there are administrative and competitive challenges with how the Government of Canada has modeled its carbon pricing system, and that the government should be removing barriers for fleets that want to invest in greener technology.
Its annual submission for the federal government’s pre-budget consultations also prioritizes support and investments for on-going industry issues related to taxes, cross-border trade, and highway infrastructure, the group said in a release today.
The CTA says a good start to providing incentives for companies to go green would be to reintroduce the ability for carriers to apply for federal tax refunds on diesel fuel used for anti-idling devices and other Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions-reducing technology. The provision was removed in the 2016 budget.
The group also says it isn’t necessarily against the proposed carbon pricing system, but warned the measure imposes dramatic price increases in a very short time period, without factoring in economic conditions in the sector. The plan also increases complicated administrative tasks for motor carriers.
Ottawa has yet to say that it will reinvest the revenue generated through the new tax back into the industry to those who invest in carbon reduction technology. It also creates major cost differences between carriers in Canadian and United States, says the CTA, creating the potential for unfair competition.
The CTA echoed wide-spread concerns about Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s announced tax changes, including those changes that would negatively affect small businesses, family business succession, and competition with U.S. operators.
The CTA says its submission reinforces the industry’s need for improved cross-border efficiencies and security processes, saying Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) resources have not kept pace with the rate of trade growth, and an on-going lack of staffing at major border crossings has been made worse by outdated computer system outages.
They called for investments in advanced technology, such as biometrics and RFID, and urged Canada to continue working with U.S. counterparts to resolve issues surrounding truck routes, empty trailer moves, cargo pre-clearance, and harmonization of security programs.
With members being a major user of Canada’s roadway, they also called for federal investment in several potential projects to address urgent capacity constraints and keep goods moving efficiently.