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CTA, Suppliers Push Forward with ELD Tech Standard – Home Stretch in Sight
Trucking News

In completing the final review of the electronic logging device (ELD) technical standard last month, the Canadian Trucking Alliance believes there are no roadblocks to finalizing the standard in the immediate term, says Geoff Wood, CTA’s Senior VP, Policy.

As with anything to do with ELDs, the devil is in the details, explains Wood. Since Transport Canada first proposed in December 2017 that the Canadian industry move forward with ELDs, there has been steady progress to align the Canadian technical standard for ELDs with specifications issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the U.S.

Over the past several months, CTA, working with technology firms within the Alliance membership that offer ELD products to the Canadian market, have met regularly to work with governments in expediting the completion of the technical standard, which will be an integral part of Transport Canada’s final rule expected to be published in the Canada Gazette II by this summer.

CTA’s involvement has allowed government policy makers the opportunity to meet tight timelines desired by the trucking industry and requested by the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety. Specifically, the most recent work deals with third-party certification of ELD devices, which is essential for ensuring carriers across Canada are complying on an equal level playing field.

Third-party certification means that an independent organization meeting the requirements set out by the government regulatory body, not the product/software manufacturer, has reviewed the compliance characteristics of a product and has independently determined it complies with specific standards for safety, quality or performance. This review typically includes a comprehensive cross-referencing of the product(s) with set specifications as well as hands-on testing and live verification by the third-party organization. Some form of third-party certification requirements for electronic products or safety devices is relatively common in North America.

“We have strong supplier support and an open ear from government officials to regulate ELD technology from a both a performance and compliance standpoint for the first time,” said Wood. “It was necessary for CTA to coordinate efforts with both the suppliers and government and we are pleased with the outcome of this process.

“CTA will continue the collaborative approach with ELD suppliers and governments to ensure ELD standards and regulations keep pace with the evolving nature of technology and that we have an hours of service regime that is based on a level-playing field and certified equipment,” added Wood.

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CN joins forces with Lion to create eight electric trucks
Trucking News

MONTREAL, Que. – CN announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Lion Electric Co. for the conception, design, and manufacturing of eight tandem axle, Class 8, zero-emission, electric trucks.

According to CN, the trucks will be deployed in cities across the CN network such as Vancouver, as well as the Greater Toronto, Montreal, and Hamilton areas. They will be tested for different tasks from urban delivery, container shuttle service, to port operations, and cross-town service.

The trucks will be custom-built to withstand the North American climate and road conditions. They will also produce no noise pollution and are set to remove 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the road each year.

“This project is an example of CN’s commitment to sustainable business practices,” said Mark Lerner, vice-president of marketing and business development at CN. “By using these zero-emission trucks in different settings, we want to identify where these trucks can make the most impact on how we serve our customers and reduce our emissions. Over the last 25 years, CN has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its locomotives by 40% and we are constantly looking for innovative ways to continue down that path.”

“We are very pleased to support CN in its commitment to sustainable mobility,” added Partick Gervais, v.p. marketing and communications at The Lion Electric Co. “By purchasing zero-emission trucks from Lion, CN is also promoting local innovation and jobs. Lion Electric will have 200 employees by the end of 2019 and more than 1,000 within the next 10 years thanks to agreements like this one.”

Delivery of the trucks is expected in the summer of 2020. The terms of the MOU were not disclosed.

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World's largest autonomous Komatsu truck starts up in Canada
Trucking News

The truck, modelled after Komatsu's 930E series line, features a Cummins 3500 HP SSDA18V170 engine, two-stage turbocharging for greater air and fuel efficiency, and a reliable hydraulic system design.

While the exact location was not disclosed, SMS senior manager for AHS (autonomous haulage systems) Scott Schellenberg said the truck is a game-changer for both the OEM and its clients.

"The introduction of these 980Es into the AHS environment wouldn't be possible without our customers and distribution partners. They're a big reason why Komatsu has the most autonomous systems, in the most mines, hauling the widest variety of materials, in the world," Komatsu America mining truck division general manager Dan Funcannon added.

As pointed out by SMS' executive vice-president of innovation and advanced technology Mike Brown, the equipment maker has heavily invested in developing proper expertise to support its automation efforts from inception through implementation and continuous improvement.

"The rapid increase in proposed autonomous projects will make Canada a global leader in autonomous adoption, as Canadian mining companies focus on driving better efficiencies into their operations," he noted.

Komatsu recently marked 10 year since its first autonomous haul trucks went into commercial production; it now has over 130 units working at operations worldwide.

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B.C. working to develop MELT standard
Trucking News

B.C. could soon be the next province to announce a mandatory entry-level driver training (MELT) program.

According to the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC), it, along with the province’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is working to support the development of a new MELT program for Class 1 drivers.

“ICBC is examining a number of different training options to improve commercial vehicle driver safety, including the recently introduced MELT programs in Ontario and Alberta, as well as the U.S.” ICBC stated in a release to Truck News-West. “As with the MELT programs in Ontario and Alberta, B.C. plans to propose a standardized mandatory curriculum for use by the driver training industry that specifies the number of required hours for in-classroom, behind-the-wheel, and in-yard instruction.”

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said current applicants for Class 1 licences must undergo “robust testing, mandatory air brake training, and driver record screening prior to being issued a licence.”

The ministry told Truck News-West that the ongoing review of the province’s Class 1 commercial driver training standards will be examined to see what improvements can be made and how those changes will be implemented.

The provincial government also said it supports Transport Canada’s recently announced national standard for MELT, which is expected to be developed by early next year in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, as well as provincial jurisdictions.

Shelley McGuinness, communications specialist with the B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA), said the fact that a national standard is coming down the pike poses an interesting problem.

“Can you cover all of B.C.’s requirements in a national program, or do you make the national program a foundation, and build on that with specific requirements per province?” McGuinness questioned. “Obviously, truck drivers trained to a standard in one province may still operate across Canada. But truck drivers obtaining certification in Manitoba or Saskatchewan have no way to practice mountain driving on the road as trainees.”

Because the province presents unique challenges for drivers, such as mountain terrain with steep grades and unpredictable weather, McGuinness believes B.C. needs its own MELT program.

“The experience and needs of the industry and drivers in our province, combined with our unique transportation profile means we need to cover a lot of ground,” she said. “We’re Canada’s Asia-Pacific gateway with a number of ports, we have high mountain passes and severe weather, our highway system includes ocean-going and inland ferries. So in the classroom or cab, we should be providing training that covers B.C.-specific practices, requirements, and skills.”

The BCTA has made clear it wants to offer its expertise and knowledge when it comes to the province’s development of a MELT standard, and has voiced to the government and ICBC the need for a program.

The association also welcomes the opportunity to be part of the creation of a national MELT standard, which could come by January 2020, and looks forward to doing so as part of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

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Van driver killed in crash with tanker truck in northeastern Alberta
Trucking News

Road conditions were wet at time of collision just before noon Saturday

A driver died Saturday morning after a van collided with a tanker truck at a highway intersection in northeastern Alberta.

Around 11:30 a.m., Cold Lake RCMP and emergency services responded to the collision at the intersection of Highway 28 and Range Road 424, RCMP said in a news release Monday.

Police said the driver of a grey van travelling east on Highway 28 collided with a westbound tanker truck. Road conditions were wet at the time.

 

The van driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Police offered no other details about the driver.

The driver of the tanker truck was not injured.

The cause of the collision is under investigation by members of the Cold Lake detachment and an RCMP collision analyst.

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Canadian trials pave the way for autonomous log trucks
Trucking News


Researchers from FPInnovations, Auburn University and Transport Canada conducted log truck platooning tests in Quebec last fall.

What if log trucks followed the example of cyclists, who ride in platoons (known as pelotons) to reduce their fuel consumption? At a time when truck platooning is already a legal practice on roads in nine American states, researchers have been conducting tests on Canadian roads and even on forest roads to bring the technology to the country.

These initial tests, which took place on highways and logging roads in Quebec last fall, are paving the way towards using autonomous log trucks that will help reduce fuel consumption, address driver shortages and improve business efficiency.

“The principle of truck platooning, it’s somewhat like riding in a cyclist peloton,” says Édouard Proust, an advanced vehicle engineer at FPInnovations. “A lead truck will cut the wind for the trucks following behind, which makes it possible to save fuel because of the reduced aerodynamic drag.”

A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy, showed that trailing vehicles benefit from fuel savings of up to 9.7 per cent. But that’s not all; the lead vehicle also benefits from the platooning by consuming up to 5.3 per cent less fuel, due to the resulting vacuum effect.

To reduce aerodynamic drag, trucks must follow each other very closely. To do so, and to avoid accidents, the lead truck will control the acceleration and braking of the vehicles behind using advanced technologies, Proust says. Radars, GPS, radio communication systems and other technologies are used to detect obstacles, cars, curves and changes in topography. The result is trucks following each other in convoys of two to four vehicles, at a distance of barely 20 metres, as they zip by at speeds up to 90 kilometres an hour.

“A human’s reaction time usually ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds, depending on traffic and visibility,” says Dominique Dion, a project manager at Transport Canada. “Since the communication system directly transfers information between the vehicles, this time is reduced to about 0.1 second, which significantly reduces reaction time.”

In the coming years, trucks will become increasingly autonomous, and the lead truck will also control the driving. Drivers in the trucks behind the lead vehicle will even eventually no longer be needed.

The tests demonstrated that the technology works, but highlighted where further work is needed to improve communications between the various devices.

Bringing platooning to forests
When researchers at FPInnovations heard that Auburn University researchers, who are world leaders when it comes to connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), were going to conduct road tests in Michigan, they approached them and asked if they would do trials in Canada in collaboration with Transport Canada. The plan was to validate if the technology developed by Auburn University, which is designed to work on highways, could also work on forest roads, explains François Charrette, head researcher on FPInnovations’ Forestry 4.0 project.

Before testing the technology on forest roads, initial platooning tests were conducted on a highway between Blainville and Trois-Rivières, Que. “There are many trials done to understand that particular technology, increase knowledge and integrate it into transport in Canada,” Dion says. However, no technology is available yet on the market. “If the technology is safe, we will put the regulations in place to be able to use it in collaboration with the provinces,” he says.

One thing is for sure: truck platooning will first start on paved roads, since conditions are much more difficult in forests because of dust, sharp curves and steep slopes, Charrette says. But the industry must still clear the way for smart trucks to reduce fuel consumption and partially solve the issue of driver shortage.

The tests conducted on a forest road in Rivière-aux-Rats, Que., close to La Tuque, demonstrated that the technology works, but highlighted where further work is required to improve the process and communications between the various devices, Proust says.

“Trials in extreme conditions allow us to take our expertise to a new level,” says Jim Killian, director of engineering communications and marketing at Auburn University.

“Our platooning technology has already been successfully applied on public roads and I’m certain it can be applied to forestry operations,” says David Bevly, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory (GAVLAB) at Auburn University. “The question is how to do it. The trials will help us answer that question.”

For Pierre Cormier, vice-president of forestry and forest operations at Resolute Forest Products, it is crucial to be aware of this type of technology to remain competitive and to help solve the truck driver shortage. “When we improve our productivity, we not only increase our fuel savings automatically, we also reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on our activities,” he says. “It’s a win-win situation.”

The appeal of new technologies also helps attract the upcoming generation of workers, Cormier says. “We have to speak the same language as young people if we want them to work for us.”

Whether it’s for attracting workers or reducing the need for them by using more autonomous trucks, it’s in the interest of the forest industry to look into the issue, says Jonathan Perron, forest operation and wood procurement manager at Resolute. Mills have had to shut down for a few weeks due to the shortage of drivers.

A number of questions remain and more trials will be required before deploying such technology on forest roads, but with the rapid development of new technologies it’s important for companies to jump on the intelligent vehicle bandwagon, Charrette says.

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Geotab to acquire BSM Technologies
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. – Geotab has announced an agreement to acquire BSM Technologies, a telematics provider installed in more than 165,000 vehicles across government and private fleets in the U.S. and Canada.

The acquisition would add to the more than 1.5 million fleet telematics subscribers using Geotab globally, the company announced. BSM is strong in the government sector, and works with states and provinces to optimize and manage their winter road maintenance fleets.

“BSM had previously standardized on using the Geotab platform as their base and then created a competitive advantage by building new products on top of our technology,” said Neil Cawse, Geotab CEO. “An example of this is winter ops – support for data and the management of snow plows and spreaders. This technology is key for our resellers to be able to win government business.”

“BSM’s activity in the government space coupled with Geotab’s proven success and commitment to security and scalability will work in tandem to dramatically accelerate Geotab’s presence across North America including in the electric vehicle space, which is an increasingly important emerging market,” added Cawse. “We are excited about what BSM will do to strengthen our ecosystem and believe that the resultant platform enhancements will benefit our customers around the globe.”

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Today’s Pickup: Isuzu introduces craft beer truck complete with taps
Trucking News
Isuzu with partners Supreme and Delivery Concepts have introduced a truck body designed for craft brewers, complete with taps.

Isuzu with partners Supreme and Delivery Concepts have introduced a truck body designed for craft brewers, complete with taps.

Craft beer brewers have carved out a unique and growing niche in the American beer market. According to the Brewers Association, that craft beer market reached $26 billion in 2017, growing 8% over 2016 and making up 23% of the overall beer market.

Most craft brewers are still local, and that means they attend local events, festivals and other community gatherings to sell their products. Isuzu is trying to make that easier for them with a special Craft Beer truck.

The concept for the truck was proven by Bottle Logic, an Anaheim-based craft brewer. Working with body builders Supreme and Delivery Concepts, Isuzu created a truck that allowed Bottle Logic to make deliveries to businesses during the week and bring the product to festivals and live events on the weekend.

The truck features a Supreme and Delivery Concepts body on an Isuzu NRR model with a 150-inch wheelbase and 19,500-lb. gross vehicle weight rating.

“The combination of economy, power, maneuverability and low cost of ownership, made choosing the NRR as the basis for our new craft beer truck a no-brainer,” said Steve Napolitano, co-founder and president of Bottle Logic. “We can’t wait to put this truck to work for us.”

The truck features a 16-foot Supreme Kold King insulated body that is cooled with a Thermo King 680R refrigeration unit with electric standby. This setup provides ample space for kegs and crates while keeping the product refrigerated, the companies said. The electric standby gives brewers more flexibility in loading the truck in the evening for the next morning’s delivery, all while keeping the product cooled.

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CN reaches deal with Unifor
Trucking News

MONTREAL, Que. – CN and Unifor have announced a new tentative collective agreement, which covers more than 2,150 employees, including 1,000 owner-operator truck drivers.

The deal was reached prior to the expiration of its existing contract.

“I am very pleased to announce these tentative agreements, that were reached prior to their expiration, covering over 3,100 of our unionized team members in Canada,” said JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer CN. “I look forward to the ratification of these agreements as we continue to negotiate longer term collective agreements with our union partners, securing labor stability for our customers, employees and shareholders.”

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Kitchener truck driver arrested
Trucking News

KITCHENER — A Kitchener man has been charged after Canada Border Services seized 10,000 kilograms of undeclared loose leaf tobacco following a search of a tractor trailer.

On March 16 at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, a border services officer sent a tractor trailer with a shipment of declared automotive parts to be examined.

The border services agency says it found 102 boxes of undeclared loose leaf tobacco with an estimated value of $1.01 million. It was all seized.

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OTA Wants Seat at Table for Drafting Thunder Bay Truck Route Bylaw
Trucking News

Despite what the Ontario Trucking Association says was a misguided decision by City of Thunder Bay council to approve a new truck route, OTA continues to try and sway decision makers into at least amending its plan.

In a letter to Mayor Bill Mauro, the association assembled additional input for consideration it was prevented from commenting on during the Council vote and made recommendations should the truck route bylaw proceed.

Among OTA’s notes to the Mayor, the association once again stressed the importance of conducting a proper, transparent traffic flow impact analysis by professional engineers in order to achieve true due diligence in determining how passenger vehicles and large trucks interact during peak volume times at signalized intersections. OTA even offered to discuss cost sharing options for the work.

OTA reiterated its strong belief the most effective solution to this issue is the designation of a community safety zone and implementation of photo radar in the Dawson Road and Arthur Street areas.

OTA reminded the mayor there is still no detailed data on collisions on Arthur Street and Dawson Road and proceeding in banning trucks on these stretches of road without this information is moving forward without all of the facts.

“While we disagree wholeheartedly with the process … the truck route was arrived at, we do feel it is important that the trucking industry be afforded the opportunity to participate in discussions concerning the drafting of the bylaw and are hopeful for open and transparent consultation,” the letter stated.

Finally, OTA also strongly recommended that in writing the bylaw, Council consider language to require ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the proposed routes.

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Molasses spill causes 'sticky situation' in Charlottetown
Trucking News

When you hear about a molasses spill, you may think of baking cookies or eating biscuits. But Charlottetown's Agro Co-op had a bigger spill on their hands Thursday — or rather on their parking lot.

The Co-op uses molasses for mixing different types of feed. Mark Scott, an employee, said the tank overflowed sometime overnight and by morning a large portion of the parking lot was covered in molasses.

Scott said he's never dealt with this problem before, so when he got the message this morning he wasn't quite sure how to proceed but a clean up crew was quickly organized.

Although Scott hasn't been in this situation before, Trisha Viaene the manager at Riverview Market said she has.

"We usually enter from Exhibition Drive, and I saw all the tape there and I saw the mess on the ground and knew it was molasses right away, cause it's not the first time it's happened," Viaene said.

Viaene let her customers know about the large spill over social media — but said most people coming into the shop haven't been bothered by the mess.

"Everyone's commenting that it smells pretty good outside, biscuits will sell out today quickly," Viaene said. "It's just a funny little accident that people can laugh about for sure."

"Try not to drive through it, try not to walk through it," Viaene cautioned. "It'll be a sticky mess."

The molasses is being cleaned with water and vacuum trucks. It's non-toxic, so it poses no threat to the environment, Scott said.

Scott Clark, from Clark Septic and Drain, said this is his first time cleaning up the difficult substance.

"It definitely sounded like a bit of a sticky situation," said Clark about receiving the call this morning.

The hot water was breaking down the molasses to make it more liquid, allowing the vacuum truck to suck it up.

"I'm not sure what it's going to be like coming off the truck over there, but we'll find out," Clark said.

Once the molasses is cleaned it will be taken to a farmer's manure pile to be disposed of, Clark said.

Scott said there's no need for his customers to worry. 

"We're getting a new shipment of molasses in and will still be making lots of feed."

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Ontario plates to proclaim ‘Open for Business’
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario licence plates will carry new messages as of Feb. 1, with slogans proclaiming the province is “Open for Business” and also “A Place to Grow”.

The Open for Business tagline applies to commercial plates. The passenger vehicle tagline was drawn from lyrics in a provincial anthem that debuted at Expo ’67.

Licence plates and driver’s licences alike are being redesigned to incorporate an updated trillium logo.

The changes are meant to be more than skin deep, too. The new plates will use high-definition sheeting that is stronger, brighter, and longer-lasting than existing versions, the province says.

Ontario issues 580,000 commercial plates and 2.4 million passenger plates per year.

The province’s licence plates were last redesigned in 1982.

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Regina Rally Against the Carbon Tax draws 700 heavy and light trucks
Trucking News

  At 6 a.m., they started to gather in the KRJ yards in Estevan, one filling with heavy trucks, the second with a line of light vehicles. This was one of the principle gathering points for the convoy leading to the Regina Rally Against the Carbon Tax on April 4.

The folks in Estevan couldn’t claim the earliest start time, however, as a group from Carnduff hit the road at 5:30, pulling into the KRJ yard to join the Estevan group an hour later.

The day before, pressure washers could be seen and heard around Estevan as participants in the convoy washed their units to make them look sparkling. An overnight rain spoiled some of their efforts, but the clouds broke just as the convoy left Estevan at 7 a.m.

The leading edge of the convoy reached the southwest corner of Weyburn at 8 a.m., and here is where things really picked up. Two groups were lined up in Weyburn, one on 22nd Avenue, and a second that left Arcola at 7 a.m. By the time the last truck in that Arcola group got going on Highway 39, it was 8:40. In other words, the convoy was already 40 minutes long, heading into Regina.

There, it was joined on the eastern side of the city by many more units.

The numbers reported that day were in excess of 700 units, mostly semis, taking part.

Once parked on the exhibition grounds, the convoy participants as well as others who weren’t in the convoy gathered in the Queensbury Centre. The room chosen was one of those that can be expanded by opening up partitions to the next room. Those partitions were indeed opened, to the point where attendees were asked to use a second room across the hall, as the primary one was filled to capacity. The attendance was estimated at 1,500, according to staff from the premier’s office who conferred with convention centre personnel.

That 1,500 stood throughout the rally, which had a relatively short program. Dan Cugnet, chairman of Valleyview Petroleum of Weyburn acted as master of ceremonies. The speakers included Souris-Moose Mountain MP Dr. Robert Kitchen, Regina-Wascana Conservative candidate Michael Kram, Estevan farmer and auctioneer Jason LeBlanc, and Premier Scott Moe.

The focus of the event was to fight the federal carbon tax, build pipelines, kill Bill C-69, the Impacts Assessment Act, and Bill C-48, the tanker ban off the northern British Columbia coast.

The applause for LeBlanc was arguably even greater than that for Moe. Four days earlier, his name was brought up in question period by NDP Leader Ryan Meili, who linked LeBlanc to the yellow vest movement, saying, “Far-out-there conspiracy theories, climate change denial, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic sentiment — this is what the yellow vest movement has become, Mr. Speaker. And I do not understand, but I’d like the Premier to explain why he wants to be associated with that group.”

The day after the rally, Meili made something of an apology to LeBlanc on CJME’s John Gormley Live, and said his comments were misinterpreted. LeBlanc had, in fact, been the person at the organizational meetings to insist “Yellow yests prohibited.”

Registrations of participants surged after this kerfuffle.

At the rally, LeBlanc spoke about the impact of the carbon tax on agriculture.

Moe said, “One year ago, it was Saskatchewan alone. Now it is Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick, and Ontario, and Manitoba, and very shortly, maybe Alberta. That will be five provinces presenting 60 per cent of the population of our great nation, the population of Canada, that will oppose this carbon tax. And yesterday, I’m sure many of you saw the news, Manitoba has launched another legal challenge against this carbon tax.

“Here’s what we need, in this province, to be successful. We need market access for our products. Two, we need the ability to get our goods to market, by road, by rail, by pipeline. And three, we need a tax and regulatory structure that allows us to compete with our competitors around the world. We get those three things, and we are successful in this province.

“What they are delivering is Bill C-48, the no more tankers bill. What they are delivering is Bill C-69, the no more pipelines bill. We have pipelines projects across this nation that are stalled. We have pipelines that are not getting built. And we have a federal government that, in addition to that, is delivering to use a federally-imposed carbon tax.

“We look at these policies, and you just try to tell me that this is a federal government that supports working people in this country. You try to convince me that they care about what happens to you, what happens to your family, or what happens to your community, or what happens to your job in the industry you work in.”

For in-depth coverage, see the related stories on this page. There are still more stories and videos to come from this massive event in the coming days, which will be posted on pipelinenews.ca.

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Stowaway cat survives 25-day voyage trapped in shipping container
Trucking News


A severely emaciated cat is being nursed back to health after somehow surviving a 25-day voyage trapped inside a shipping container.

The furry little stowaway was only discovered after the container finally arrived at its destination in Prince George, B.C. several weeks after departing from Shenzhen, China.

The 40-foot container was delivered to Independent Glass Distributors Ltd, an auto glass shop in the city.

Foreman Cory Hartel told CTV News Vancouver they usually receive three or four shipments each month, but never one like this.

"As we’re unloading it, right, we’re seeing all this Styrofoam chewed up on the edges of all the glass crates," he said. "They’re joking, like, there’s a big rat in here that chewed up all the Styrofoam, we’re laughing, we’re not even thinking it’s a cat."

Hartel said they were down to the last two crates when they spotted the animal. The company called the city for help, and the cat was captured.

He said the containers are sealed in China and there was no sign this one had been opened, meaning the cat had been inside for close to a month.

"She was pretty skin and bones," Hartel added.

The North Cariboo District SPCA's manager of animal central services Alex Schare said the six-year-old cat, now nicknamed "Stowaway," weighed only around three pounds when she was found.

"She ate cardboard and Styrofoam out of desperation, but there was no food and probably just a tiny bit of moisture to keep her alive," he said.

The BC SPCA believes the cat survived by drinking condensation that formed on the container's walls.

Stowaway was quarantined and is now receiving medical care at a local vet clinic. Schare says she will receive a rabies vaccine once she’s healthy enough, and following that, will be kept for observation for a few weeks.

"She’s slowly on the road to recovery. She has a long ways to go, but she’s slowly started eating again."

Once Stowaway has recovered, a new home will likely be waiting for her. Schare says they’ve already heard from people who are interested in adopting the intrepid traveller.

Hartel says one of his co-workers at the glass company is also interested in taking the cat home.

The SPCA has been collecting donations to cover the cost of Stowaway’s care, estimated at $2,760. So far, they have raised over $11,000.

The animal welfare agency said any excess funds will be used to help another animals. They are also asking for new name suggestions for Stowaway in an online survey.

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Seeking signatures of support, 'pot pardon truck' rolls into Edmonton
Trucking News

Estimated 400,000 Canadians have criminal records for simple cannabis possession.

The truck parked just off Whyte Avenue Saturday. The group collected signatures for a petition they hope to bring to the federal government. It's calling for simple possession records to be expunged rather than just pardoned.

A green truck on a cross-country mission made a stop on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton this weekend.

The "pot pardon truck" looks like a food truck but it isn't selling anything.

Instead, it's rolling across Canada with the goal of gathering support for the complete expungement of criminal records for those convicted of cannabis possession.

 

Cannabis was legalized in October. Since then, the federal government announced plans to pardon Canadians convicted of simple possession before legalization.

The normal fee of $631 for a pardon will be waived under the proposed bill. The five-10 year waiting period to apply for a pardon will also be waived.

The free pardons are expected by summer, if the bill passes. An estimated 400,000 Canadians have criminal records for simple possession.

But some say the pardons aren't quite enough.

Removing records

B.C.-based cannabis company DOJA has partnered with Cannabis Amnesty to create the pot pardon truck. It's travelling around Canada gathering signatures for a petition which will be delivered to the federal government by April 20.

David Duarte with DOJA says they are focused on the complete expungement of simple possession charges under 30 grams. A pardon forgives a past offence, but an expungement removes the record of that offence entirely.

 

"Trafficking and stuff, like that is a whole different conversation," Duarte said Saturday.

"We're out here fighting for those that might have just made a simple mistake back then. Under 30 grams is legally what you're allowed to carry now. So, we're fighting for that."

A pardon is akin to burying the record, Duarte said. The issue with this is that it can resurface, he added.

"It can be leaked even, or if a citizen is considered [to be] no longer [in] good conduct, it can be brought back up," he said. "An expungement deletes it off of your record. It completely wipes the slate clean. It's forgiving ever charging the individual."

The group is trying to collect 10,000 signatures; so far they have more than 6,000. The petition can also be signed online.

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Local Transport Owner Helping to Resolve Trucking Issues
Trucking News

A local Trucking company owner was voted in once again to the Board of Directors for the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA). Portage Transport's Bernie Driedger is First Vice President. The association is comprised of members from the trucking industry who lobby the government for changes in rules and regulations to better suit the current situations they face.

"We are lobbying government for easier access to immigration so we become a skilled trade versus just another guy fighting to bring somebody in. We're looking for easier access. The forms are very cumbersome. There's a $1,000 fee for each person. If you fill something out wrong, you lose $1,000 per person. So, we're looking to make changes to that."

He continues, "Currently, carbon tax is a big issue because it's a lot of money off our plate, which we're hoping to pass on to the general public. That is always easier said than done."

He notes his company will have to pay $140,000 this year for carbon tax in its current form, and that will increase substantially in the next few years. Driedger says it's a big hurdle for the trucking industry.

"I started in 2012 on the executive, and then last year became First Vice President. In April, 2020, I'll become President if everything carries on, and serve two years in that capacity. After that, I'll serve two years as Past President."

He outlines some of their accomplishments through the years.

"We've been very successful in the Greener program over the years," adds Driedger. "Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) will be coming in. It's not in play yet, but that should take place in 18 months. This has been a big push for the MTA and CTA as well. CTA lobbies the federal government and MTA lobbies the provincial government. That'll be a big accomplishment once that is done."

He explains ELD regulates the drivers' hours, and, in Canada, drivers can currently use a paper log. They fill that out to the best of their abilities. Driedger says when the ELD commences, it's tied to the truck's computer and regulates hours more accurately and automatically. He adds the United States began this about a year or so ago, and in another year and a half it should begin in our country.

Looking ahead, Driedger says they're hoping to change the image of transportation to improve itself in the general public's eye, so they can attract more qualified people to join the industry.

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U.S. carriers face carbon surcharge in Canadian provinces
Trucking News

U.S. carriers must pay a surcharge on the fuel they burn in the four Canadian provinces covered by the federal carbon tax or face penalties.

Non-Canadian carriers operating in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick are required to register with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), the federal tax authority, and submit quarterly reports.

“The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act also applies to foreign road carriers with operations in Canada just the same as it does for Canadian carriers,” wrote CRA spokesperson Etienne Biram.

The carbon tax went into effect in the four provinces on April 1. While the surcharge is primarily being implemented through fuel prices, the registration system serves as a backstop for fuel that is purchased elsewhere.

The surcharge is roughly C$0.20 cents per gallon (The Canadian dollar equals US$0.75.) Failure to register may result in a fine of up to C$2,000, with potential interest and penalties added to any unreported charges.

The registration system also provides for refunds for instances when fuel is purchased with the surcharge and then burned outside of four provinces. However, trucks coming from the U.S. are unlikely to be fueling in Canada given that most major cities are relatively close to the border.

“The problem, as I see it, would be a situation where a U.S.-based carrier enters Canada with a full tank of (untaxed) fuel, does its business in Canada (burning fuel and creating greenhouse gases in the process), and then returns to the U.S. without refueling in Canada. This would evade the intention of the law,” said John Peterson, a New York-based trade lawyer with Neville Peterson.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), which has been highly critical of the carbon tax, has expressed reservations about the registration system and its implementation with non-Canadian carriers.

“CTA cannot support the implementation of a road transport registration system administered by CRA until the government can show it is ready to administer it effectively, provide industry the proper guidance for compliance, and ensure a level playing field with foreign-based competitors,” the CTA wrote in correspondence to the CRA.

CRA spokesperson Biram said the agency’s efforts include “a robust compliance program and enforcement measures consistent with other programs administered by the CRA.” However, he did not immediately provide details about how exactly the enforcement measures would work.  

Regardless of what kind of enforcement takes shape, Peterson said U.S. carriers shouldn’t take their chances.

“If a U.S.-based trucking company is making regular runs into Canada, I'd probably recommend that they register,” he said. “The problems will probably be with smaller carriers who make occasional runs into Canada, and may not even know about the registration requirement.”

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Ritchie Bros. to hold largest Grande Prairie spring auction ever
Trucking News

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. – Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is gearing up for the largest spring auction Grande Prairie, Alta., has ever seen.

From April 11-13, the northern Alberta city will host its first Ritchie Bros. auction of the year, which will see more than 2,800 trucks and equipment items up for sale.

“We pride ourselves on providing the best selection, with something for everyone,” said Terry Moon, regional sales manager for Ritchie Bros. “This might be the most diverse lineup of late-model assets we’ve ever seen in Grande Prairie, with an excellent lineup of construction, agriculture, transportation, forestry, and energy equipment.”

The auction will see a multitude of tractors, farm tractors, combines, dozers, excavators, and trailers available to bidders.

Some of the highlights include a 2012 Caterpillar D8T crawler tractor, 2014 Volvo A30G articulated dump trucks, 2015 John Deere S680 combine, and 2013 Kenworth T800 tri-drive, 270-lb sleeper boom trucks.

Equipment will be sold for over 300 owners, including a complete dispersal for Integrity Industries North.

“We are selling more than 225 items—everything from pickups and trailers to dozers, excavators, and more—and all of it is ready to go to work for new owners,” said Greg Wadsworth, owner of Integrity Industries North. “We have bought and sold with Ritchie Bros. many times over the years. They’re selection is unmatched, they’re knowledgeable and attract a huge audience.”

The three-day auction will also include liquidation for Fort Nelson, B.C.-based Tru North Trucking, which includes more than 180 items.

All items will be sold without minimum bids or reserve prices.

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Truck driver charged in crash that left cattle roaming Highway 401
Trucking News

12 cows were killed and about 15 cows were set loose by collision

Provincial police have charged a transport truck driver after a crash that left cattle roaming on Highway 401 in Mississauga on the weekend.

The 36-year-old man from Mount Forest, Ont., sustained minor injuries in the collision. He faces one count of careless driving, according to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

Police said the crash killed 12 cows in all.

The collision occurred in the westbound express lanes around 11:30 p.m. on Friday. One side of the truck's trailer was damaged when the driver slammed into a barrier that divides the express and collectors lanes.

About 15 cattle were able to escape onto the highway. Police were forced to close the highway in both directions as they, along with Mississauga firefighters, spent nearly seven hours corralling the loose animals.

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Big Story of Today

There isn't a Biggest Story for Today, yet.


Old Articles

Wednesday, April 03
· Express Mondor completes rigorous Canadian journey
· Six transport trucks destroyed in massive fire in Corner Brook
· United We Roll for Canada embarks for Rally in Regina
· Owner of Winnipeg drug testing company pleads guilty to faking truck drivers
· Canadian carrier Bison Transport acquires Wisconsin-based trucking fleet
· Carbon tax hits diesel prices in four Canadian provinces
Wednesday, March 27
· OOIDA urges U.S. trade rep to move forward with USMCA approval process
· Tractor-trailer bursts into flames in Calgary crash; two injured
· Trucker faces stiff penalties for following too closely
· Emission Reduction Canada Awarding $100 Million to Clean Energy Projects

Older Articles


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