New regulations to ensure stability at B.C. Lower Mainland ports

    OTTAWA, June 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's New Government is proposing
regulations as a further step in preserving the long-term stability of
operations at the ports of Vancouver and Fraser River.
    "The Government of Canada continues to demonstrate a commitment to ensure
continued access to our vital port infrastructure on the West Coast," said the
Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and
Communities. "As we have seen in the past, container trucking disruptions can
have severe implications for Canadian trade. Clearly it is important that we
move to ensure long-term stability for trucking operations at Lower Mainland
    The proposed regulations modify existing regulations that make it a
requirement to be granted a licence to access the ports of Vancouver and
Fraser River. Specifically, the proposed regulations require non-unionized
owner-operator truckers, who are currently subject to the rates of
remuneration set out in the Memorandum of Agreement (July 2005), to be
compensated at the equivalent of any rate that has been established in a
collective agreement that applies to unionized owner-operators. These measures
are necessary to preserve the stability of container trucking operations at
the ports upon expiry of the Memorandum of Agreement in early August 2007.
    "Our government has worked closely with stakeholders, including the
Province of B.C. and the port authorities, to provide stability and
predictability for the trucking industry," said the Honourable David Emerson,
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the
Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. "I believe these proposed regulations will go a
long way in setting up a stable system for the industry. This move is critical
in helping to maintain efficiency at these ports and to build Canada's
reputation as a gateway for trade."
    "British Columbia is Canada's Pacific Gateway, and it's vital that our
ports remain open and reliable to growing Asia-Pacific trade," said British
Columbia Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon. "The Province welcomes this
change that will provide greater reliability to shippers moving goods through
the Pacific Gateway."
    The proposed regulations do not interfere with the rates that have been
established by the trucking industry under collective bargaining. Therefore,
the rates that have been negotiated within the marketplace will continue to be
in effect.

    The proposed regulations were published on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 in the
Canada Gazette, Part I, and are subject to a 30-day consultation period.

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Anne-Marie Bouchard, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Jennifer Chiu, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of
International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the
Vancouver-Whistler Olympics, Ottawa, 613-992-7332; Ann McMullin, Amalgamation
Communication Team, Vancouver, (604) 665-9069; Transport Canada is online at Subscribe to news releases and speeches at keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport Canada.
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