Fuel taxes dedicated or scrapped, says CTA

| Thursday, February 20, 2003

David Bradley, CEO of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, recommended the Canadian government leverage the participation of the provinces, municipalities and private sector in accelerated and strategic infrastructure spending.

He made the recommendation during an appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport Feb. 12.

“Canada is the only major industrialized country on the planet without a national highway policy,” Bradley said. “We need a plan and long-term funding to address this country’s highway deficit.

“Government’s excuse of having no money is wearing thin. The federal excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel presently serve no policy purpose other than to fill the government’s coffers. Let’s take the $4.8 billion in fuel taxes collected annually by the federal government and dedicate these monies into a national highway trust fund or scrap the tax.”

“Of utmost importance are our major north-south trade corridors and their feeder links,” Bradley said.

Responding to questions from the Transport Committee on security issues, Bradley remarked, “If we don’t pay attention to the transportation infrastructure needs of industry, especially those industries that rely on just-in-time deliveries, Canada runs the very real risk of direct investment fleeing Canada and moving south of the 49th parallel.”

“Canada needs more than a level playing field for our exports to the U.S. ... we need a clear advantage,” Bradley said. “We won’t need trucks or trains if we are not manufacturing anything in Canada.”

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