TORONTO, Ont. – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said a discussion paper released this month by the federal government reveals potential plans for a carbon pricing mechanism similar to Alberta’s, a combination of a tax and cap and trade system.
The CTA said it is not conceptually opposed to a market-based solution like carbon pricing since diesel fuel is the second largest operating cost to the industry after labor, and therefore saving fuel is at the top of the priority list.
In addition to Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Quebec all have some form of carbon pricing, while Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces do not.
But with the Canadian government now also committing to carbon pricing, the CTA would have liked a more consistent, transparent and revenue-neutral national framework, with all monies being put back into industry programs to accelerate investment and early adoption of fuel-efficient technology.
“However, with each province doing its own thing, the horse is now out of the barn,” said 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.”
Quebec is currently the only province that reinvests into green technologies, while Ontario has voiced intentions to do the same.
The CTA will submit comments to the discussion paper by the June 30 deadline.
The CTA also said President Trump has launched the formal process to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), with Canada likely to be engaged by August.
“Today’s announcement doesn’t come as a surprise,” said Laskowski. “The Government of Canada, CTA and other trade associations have all been preparing for this moment.
“This fall, all links of the Canadian supply chain need to band together with government to ensure our economic prosperity is protected. We would also do well to seize this opportunity to address historical border/trade-related issues that will be brought to light in the NAFTA discussions.”