The CTA on the Driver Shortage

On September 19th, the CTA appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. The alliance was specifically there to present the trucking industry’s view on topics related to Canada’s economic growth and competitiveness.

Among the presenters were CTA President Stephen Laskowski and Director of Policy & Public Affairs Jonathan Blackhan. They further discussed their submission delivered to the Committee last month. One of the main focuses of the submission was on tax fairness and the driver shortage.

The association elaborated on the competitive challenge the Driver Inc. model is creating throughout the trucking industry. Additionally, they stressed the impacts the employment scheme is having on compliant carriers as well as the government. In the mean time, CTA has been working with the Canada Revenue Agency to clarify its position on Driver Inc as a legal payment system.

Concerns about the Widening Tax Gap Between Canadian and American Competitors

“U.S. companies are benefiting from growing tax advantages over Canadian counterparts. This has been further widened by the recent corporate tax reductions introduced by President Trump,” said Laskowski. He also emphasized that measures could be explored to make Canada more competitive. For instance, Canada could consider re-examining tax rates and accelerating capital cost allowances (CCA).

A worsening driver shortage 

An upcoming worsening driver shortage could further impact the Canadian economy. The CTA projects the industry to be short 34,000 drivers by 2024. Consequently, tens of thousands of drivers are expected to retire over the coming years. In addition, new drivers are becoming increasingly difficult for companies to attract and retain.

“The driver shortage is clearly affecting Canadian fleet owners, who today look out their windows and see unseated trucks parked along the fence. It will undoubtedly become an issue very soon for the greater Canadian economy. Shippers will struggle to secure trucking capacity, increasing the cost of transportation services. This will, inevitably, raise the price of goods for consumers,” said Blackham.

CTA maintains in its submission that immigration, skills recognition, and government support for training will critically important in the future. This is to ensure the industry remains robust and efficient moving forward.

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