NTEA leadership engages new Canadian government

By: Mike Kastner, NTEA managing director 

This article was published in the July 2016 edition of NTEA News.

The Executive Committee of NTEA’s Board of Trustees recently traveled to Ottawa, Ontario, to meet with members of Canada’s new government. The Association took this opportunity to raise awareness of the work truck industry among Canadian legislators and discuss environmental, motor vehicle safety and transportation infrastructure issues.

The NTEA delegation on Parliament Hill. From left to right: Steve Carey, NTEA Executive Director; Adam Keane, executive vice-president of Allied Body Works Inc.; Todd Davis, vice president of Phenix Enterprises Inc.; Ross Haith, president of Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products; Matt Wilson, chairman & CEO of Switch-N-Go, AmeriDeck & Bucks Divisions of Deist Industries Inc.; Mike Kastner, NTEA managing director; and Doyle Sumrall, NTEA managing director.

NTEA President Matt Wilson, chairman & CEO of Switch-N-Go, AmeriDeck & Bucks Divisions of Deist Industries Inc., and NTEA Executive Director Steve Carey met with Ms. Judy Sgro, Chair of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Vice-Chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group. They talked about the Association’s North American focus, along with the importance of continued efforts to harmonize regulations between Canada and the U.S. and streamline the border.

NTEA Executive Committee members Adam Keane, executive vice-president of Allied Body Works Inc.; Todd Davis, vice president of Phenix Enterprises Inc.; and Ross Haith, president of Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products, along with NTEA Managing Director Mike Kastner, met with Ms. Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Member of Parliament for Whitby – Ontario and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. Ms. Caesar-Chavannes was particularly interested in the industry’s efforts regarding work truck efficiency.

NTEA highlighted its Green Truck Association and the proactive measures members are taking to develop and adopt products and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and engines. The Executive Committee attended Question Period in the House of Commons — the parliamentary proceeding attracting the most attention from media and the Canadian public. Each day the House of Commons is in session, the 45-minute Question Period gives members of the opposition an opportunity to seek information from the government, holding it accountable on policies and administration of public affairs. Topics raised by Members of Parliament ranged from the Trans-Mountain pipeline and fires in Fort McMurray to science and technology investments.

Association representatives then met with senior officials from the Transportation Division at Environment and Climate Change Canada on Phase Two regulations for heavy-duty vehicle and greenhouse gas emissions currently under development in Canada and the U.S.

NTEA shared ideas and insights from ongoing conversations with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding U.S. heavy-duty vehicle and engine regulations. Discussions addressed the importance of a viable fuel efficiency payback, regulatory burden equity and delegated assembly.

Beyond this, the Association engaged the Assistant Deputy Minister for the Energy Sector at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to talk about alternative fuels, the state of Canada’s energy sector, and products and technologies NTEA member companies are developing and adopting to reduce vehicle and engine greenhouse gases.

NRCan officials were impressed by the progressive steps the work truck industry is taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiency. They viewed some of these initiatives (i.e., lightweighting and systems electrification) as untapped opportunities, aligning with the government perspective of seeking new and innovative market-driven ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.

NTEA discussed the latest developments of the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) while meeting with the Assistant Secretary Privy Council Office – RCC Secretariat. Under RCC, the U.S. and Canada have worked to better align the regulatory environment between the two countries. As part of this conversation, NTEA emphasized the unique production and path to market processes for work trucks, highlighting why regulatory harmonization and an efficient border are critical for members who move people, parts and products across the Canada-U.S. border on a regular basis.

The Ottawa delegation was successful — the government was receptive to Association interests. On areas of mutual concern, NTEA will provide various Canadian policymakers with additional information and suggestions.

If you have any questions, contact Mike Kastner at 202-552-1600 or email mkastner@ntea.com.