Premier Doug Ford, along with Minister of Environment, Rod Phillips, sent a strong message of support and concern to the Ontario trucking industry today regarding rising fuel prices as a result of the carbon tax set to come into effect April 1. The event, which was attended by several Ontario Trucking Association executive members and staff, took place at Challenger Motor Freight in Cambridge, Ont.
“The trucking industry is dominated by small businesses and competes on very tight margins, with operating ratios in the 0.94 range or higher. Consequently, the Government of Ontario is correct in its belief the trucking industry will face challenges in absorbing rising fuel costs and going forward this issue will be a major point of discussion between carriers and their customers,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski.
Based on the proposed carbon tax schedule, even if the wholesale price of diesel were to remain flat over the next four years, the cost of diesel fuel would still increase 18 percent by 2022 through the carbon tax alone. Recently, a number of Fortune 500 companies have made public statements regarding the impact of rising truck transportation costs and the correlation to rising prices of consumer goods.
“OTA appreciates Premier Ford’s commitment to keeping Ontario open for businesses and reducing unnecessary red tape,” said OTA Chair David Carruth. “As am industry we look forward to continue working with the Government of Ontario to ensure our businesses remain competitive,” added Carruth.
OTA also pointed out the trucking industry remains the only freight mode to use equipment regulated for carbon reduction by Environment Canada. OTA will continue to work with the Canadian Trucking Alliance in Ottawa to convince officials that if the carbon tax is to remain, its revenues must flow back to the trucking industry in the form of an incentive program aimed at supporting purchases of new, environmental equipment and technology.
OTA members, staff and Ontario gov’t officials in photo: Kevin Berry, Mark Bylsma, Ron and Rolly Uloth, Rob McDonald, Dan and Dave Einwechter, Jeff Hall, Jim Peeples, Brian Taylor, Stephen Laskowski, Jon Blackham, Geoff Wood, Minister of Environment Rod Phillips, Premier Doug Ford, MPP Mike Harris, MPP Belinda Karahalios and MPP Amy Fee.