June 29, 2001
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The four Atlantic Provinces have approved in principle a plan to establish uniform regulations governing the weight and dimensions for highway transport vehicles throughout Atlantic Canada, Transportation Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney announced today. The regulations are expected to be in place by October 2001.
"Working with our Atlantic partners to reduce inter-provincial trade barriers is vital to our plan to create more jobs and wealth for New Brunswickers," Blaney said. "These changes will allow our long-haul trucking industry to become more competitive by reducing government red tape and help lower transportation costs for consumers."
For the past two years discussions have been under way between the four Atlantic Provinces to address one of the most commonly cited barriers to efficient truck transportation within the region. A proposal to establish uniform standards was the basis for extensive public consultations at open meetings held in New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador from January to March 2000.
This proposal calls for the introduction of changes in weight and dimension regulations. These would apply to new vehicles later this year, while providing a transition period for certain vehicle configurations until December 2009. This transition period will allow trucking companies and equipment manufacturers to phase out equipment that does not comply with the proposed new standards.
Harmonizing regulations for the weight and dimensions of trucks was one of the recommendations of the New Brunswick Red Tape Reduction Committee and was endorsed by the government when it released its Red Tape Response on June 25.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information on the initiative is attached. MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Toft, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-5070.
Atlantic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Harmonized Vehicle Weights and Dimensions
The four Atlantic Provinces are working toward implementing a new harmonized vehicle weights and dimensions regulation in the fall of 2001. Ministers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to harmonize these regulations.
This initiative will bring truck (and intercity bus) weights and dimensions regulations in Atlantic Canada into line and reflects the New Brunswick government commitment to increase the level of cooperation among the four Atlantic Provinces.
This initiative has been under way for several years and enjoys a wide level of support within the trucking industry. The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association has indicated its support as well.
The resulting harmonized rules will be the first of their kind in Canada and in North America.
Members of the Atlantic Task Force on Vehicle Weights and Dimensions Policy have worked on these changes for several years. A discussion paper was developed for public consultations, which were held throughout Atlantic Canada in early 2000. Input from stakeholders, carriers and industry have been incorporated, into the final text of the memorandum.
A 'Trucker's Guide to the Atlantic Weights and Dimensions Harmonization', based on the discussion paper and resulting memorandum, is being developed that will summarize the proposed regulation for the industry.
The harmonized regulations are a positive development for the trucking industry. Harmonization will enable more efficient product transport to and from Atlantic Canada with fewer barriers to trade. It will also allow industry to make long-term plans for their equipment purchasing, which can involve significant capital investment. Certain aspects of the regulations will also be similar to regulations in place in Québec.
Some of the changes proposed for New Brunswick are:
The new regulation applies to the following configurations: tractor semi-trailers, A, B and C train doubles, straight trucks, straight truck-pony trailer, straight truck-full trailer, tandem steering truck, tandem steering truck-pony trailer, tandem steering truck-full trailer and intercity bus.