Why Party Leadership Matters to Trucking
The STA is many things but first and foremost it is an advocacy and lobbying organization. In order to be effective at that and propel the interests of trucking forward on a policy and legislation level, the STA Membership, Board and staff need to foster productive working relationships with the government on all levels. The race is on for the next leader of the Saskatchewan Party who will serve as the Premier of Saskatchewan after Brad Wall retires from politics in the new year. The new Premier will have a big impact on how trucking companies operate in the province. Policies and actions such as leverage of the New West Partnership, the fight against carbon tax and approaches to red tape reduction will all have a direct impact on the industry’s ability to adapt and grow with the release of new technologies and needs.Saskatchewan is an export economy, we all know that. The trucking industry relies heavily on goods moving to external markets to keep our industry alive. In order to remain an export economy that can sustain a robust trucking industry, Saskatchewan needs a leader who values the businesses which make that possible.The STA’s Membership needs a leader who is willing to work with the association, to promote an export economy and create sustainable infrastructure to accommodate trucks moving goods to market.
Without adequate transportation infrastructure such as highways, overpasses, properly working culverts and rail crossings, it is more difficult to move goods via truck. Increased difficult means increased costs for trucking companies. With already tight margins, Saskatchewan based companies simply cannot afford to incur more costs to move the same amount of goods. Increased investment in infrastructure also allows for differing configurations due to higher road quality and an increased number of primary and secondary weight highways. Saskatchewan has notoriously difficult highway conditions, increased investment in roads leads to decreased maintenance costs for carriers.
The adaption of green technologies is a great example of red tape reduction. The situation is simple; Canada needs to reduce GHG emissions, trucking companies want to burn less fuel – these priorities are the same. The technology is available for trucking companies to reduce fuel consumption, but adjustments must be made to allow the industry to use them. New Generation Wide Base Single Tires are not a new invention, but until recently they have not been allowed for use at par weights for duals in Saskatchewan. Other province pilot projects have shown fuel savings of up to 11% using the tires but Saskatchewan has been slow to adopt the technology fully. Companies willing to invest in fuel consumption reducing technologies should not be limited in using them by policies that could not adapt at the same rate as technology.
Increased economic activity is linked directly to increased prosperity for trucking. Strong exports, ever increasing manufacturing and the ability of resource companies to operate prosperously in our province all drive the trucking sector. In order for trucking to prosper in Saskatchewan, the economy must prosper. The new Saskatchewan Party Leader needs to secure a gainful economy for the good of trucking and the province.
For all the above reasons and more, leadership matters in Saskatchewan. The STA and its Members need to support a candidate that supports the trucking industry and will secure Saskatchewan a prosperous economy for years to come.