Canada’s minority Conservative government’s action plan for stimulating the economy was met with approval by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA). The proposal includes $12 billion over the next two years for new or accelerated infrastructure funding, tax relief for small businesses and increased credit availability.
However, CTA noted that the budget did not include any references to the government’s election promise to cut the excise tax on diesel fuel by 50%, and did not mention rebates or tax measures designed to stimulate investment in new trucking equipment.
“The trucking industry welcomes the increased investment in highways, bridges and border crossings announced in the budget,” said David Bradley, CTA CEO. “We are especially pleased that a number of the specifically mentioned projects were contained on a list of infrastructure priorities compiled by CTA.
“Investment in tractors and trailers has come to an almost complete halt,” he added. “This is mainly a reflection of the state of the market for freight transportation service, but also a reflection of tight credit. If this budget and the stimulus package being introduced in the United States do provide a boost in economic activity, carriers will need to begin re-equipping their fleets and if the creation of the credit facility helps the industry to do that, it will be a good thing.”
The $12 billion in infrastructure investment includes $130 million to twin the Trans-Canada Highway through Banff National Park; $212 million to revamp the Champlain Bridge in Montreal; $15 million for the Blue Water and Peace international bridges; $42 million for bridge rehabilitations across Canada; and $80 million to expand the border services at Prescott, ON and at Huntingdon, Kingsgate, and Pacific Highway in British Columbia.