The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada welcomes the opportunity to work with the National Supply Chain Task Force and is thankful for the partnership and chance to work together to make Canada’s supply chain stronger. The PMTC is the only National Canadian Association dedicated to representing the views and interest of Canada’s Private & Dedicated Fleets. This part of the Canadian Trucking Industry represents roughly 50% of the class 8 trucks on Canada’s highways today, and over 70% of Canada’s smaller urban deliver vehicles (class 7 and below). We feel it is important that this unique portion of the industry is represented on the task force with their perspectives.
The pandemic, along with recent severe weather events, such as the floods and wildfires in BC, show not only how critical our supply chain is, but also how fragile. The nations critical needs rely on the men and women who work in the supply chain, as well as the infrastructure that is required to efficiently move the freight and supply the services that are required for our daily lives. Canada is one of the greatest nations in the world and must move forward with supply chain efficiencies and improvements that are warranted for the G7 country that we are.
The PMTC & its members have highlighted a number of areas to the Task Force that we feel will help improve the countries supply chain.
- Fast card enrollment centers on the Canadian side of the border must be re-opened. These centres have been closed since March of 2020, and with a current backlog of over 11,000 applications, access to fast approved drivers is hampering cross border trade.
- More investment is required for border infrastructure, both in physical infrastructure to help improve traffic flow, as well as increased and on-going investment for hardware & software for streamlined customs clearance.
- More redundancy in key cross-country infrastructure. Specific areas of need, twinning of QC highway 185 to New Brunswick to improve flow and open up a full LCV network from Ontario to the Maritimes. Twinning of the Trans Canada through Northern Ontario (Hwy11/17). This will provide an alternative route should another disaster like the Nipigon bridge failure occur, which severed east-west trade for several weeks in 2016. This would also open up the LCV network to Northern Ontario and the possibility of expanding to the western provinces. Twinning across all of hwy 1 through the prairies and through BC, to provide both redundancy and improved safety and traffic flow.
- A national standard for design for the Trans Canada Highways that must be followed when TC highways are built, expanded, or repaired. Included in this should be publicly funded parking facilities with access to clean and safe washrooms for Commercial drivers. A lack of adequate and safe parking has existed for years and needs to be addressed with the jurisdictions working together on a National Strategy.
- Regulatory harmonization from coast to coast to coast on many fronts required to reduce costs and improve efficiencies for industry, especially more options for weights and dimensions as well as a national approach for funding and weight credits for fuel efficient vehicles.
- Work to have the driving profession declared a skilled trade and open up more consistent funding to allow potential new drivers access to funds for training opportunities.
- Work with the USA to have the land border vaccine mandate for essential workers removed for both countries. This mandate has removed over 15% of the cross-border workforce at a time when we already have a severe shortage of drivers.
- More co-ordination of jurisdictional regulations. Inconsistencies in regs and enforcement from one jurisdiction to another reduces efficiency and increases burdens and cost to the industry. It also leads to some carriers who don’t have safety and compliance at the top of their priorities from jurisdiction shopping to find the one with the least stringent regs to register their fleet in.
- Improved programs for accessing foreign workers for the transportation industry, with a path to permanent residency, complete with better oversight of current immigration polices, and a trusted partner program where only proven safe carriers with a plan to integrate the new immigrants into their fleet and community are approved.
- Strategy for fueling/charging infrastructure for alternative fuelled vehicles.
- Additional emphasis to reduce congestion in Canada’s worst bottleneck areas. (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal as examples).
- Working with jurisdictions to remove by-laws where possible that restrict nighttime deliveries.
The PMTC looks forward to working with the task force and looks forward to further discussion and consultations as we move forward.