The Canadian Trucking Alliance yesterday appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to present the industry’s view on topics related to Canada’s economic growth and business competitiveness.
CTA president Stephen Laskowski and director of Policy & Public Affairs Jonathan Blackham added some colour to the Alliances’ written pre-budget submission delivered to the Committee last month, focusing on tax fairness and the driver shortage.
CTA elaborated on the growing competitive challenge the Driver Inc. model is creating throughout the trucking industry and emphasized the impacts the employment scheme is having on compliant carriers as well as the government. CTA has been working with Canada Revenue Agency to clarify its position on Driver Inc as a legal payment system while urging the agency to commit enforcement towards the practice.
CTA also discussed its concerns over the widening tax gap between Canadian and American competitors.
“U.S. companies are benefiting from growing tax advantages over Canadian counterparts. This has been further widened by the recent corporate tax reductions introduced by President Trump,” said Laskowski, who emphasised that various measures could be explored to make Canada more competitive, including re-examining tax rates and accelerated capital cost allowances (CCA) rates.
CTA also raised the spectre of a worsening driver shortage further impacting the Canadian economy. CTA projects the driver shortage to reach at least 34,000 drivers by 2024 as tens of thousands of drivers are expected to retire over the coming years and new drivers are becoming increasingly difficult for companies to attract and retain.
“While the driver shortage is clearly affecting Canadian fleet owners, who today look out their windows and see unseated trucks parked along the fence, it will undoubtedly become an issue very soon for the greater Canadian economy as shippers struggle to secure trucking capacity, increasing the cost of transportation services, and inevitably, the price of goods for consumers,” said Blackham.
CTA maintains in its submission that immigration, skills recognition, and government support for training will critically important to ensure the industry remains robust and efficient moving forward.