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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Senate Report says Tear Down the Walls, the barriers to efficient transportation

In a rare bit of sanity emanating from the Senate, proving Senators are sometimes awake, the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce made some recommendations aimed at eliminating the trade barriers within Canada even offering some tongue in cheek comments.

Provincial discrepancies in truck configuration standards and limits on the use of high-tech, fuel-efficient single tires are among two of the most “mind-boggling” policies “sapping billions of dollars” from the Canadian economy each year.

Senators released a report on internal barriers to trade, called Tear Down These Walls: Dismantling Canada’s Internal Trade Barriers. In it, they say “duelling bureaucracies and maddening regulations” among various jurisdictions are creating barriers to internal trade and weighing down Canada’s economy.

Number 1 and 2 on the committee’s somewhat cheeky Top 10 List of ‘weirdest’ trade barriers that should be dismantled concern the trucking industry:

“Some (oversize/overweight) truck configurations must be driven at night in British Columbia — and only during the day in neighbouring Alberta. Insomniacs rejoice.”
“Some provinces impose limits on the use of high-tech fuel-efficient tires so truckers have to swap them out at the border. Pit crews not included.”

These are some of the same issues raised by the BCTA, AMTA and CTA at three separate Senate hearings over the spring.

The full report highlights several other trucking policy inconsistencies across the country.

“Federal, provincial and territorial governments have allowed internal barriers to trade to persist. The committee urges co-operation between all levels of government to reduce the significant costs these barriers impose on Canadian consumers, businesses and workers. The federal government is in the best position to lead on this issue,” the committee said.

It is the hope of the trucking associations the report serves to educate politicians and policy makers on removing regulatory barriers which would make the industry and the economy more efficient.