The good news is that trade shows and truck shows are starting up again. The APNA show is back again June 18/19 at the Tradex in Abbotsford. There is a Truck Show that does not have an entry fee, and is for Tractors only but space is limited and you must register or you will not be able to show your truck. This year the show will also include a Job Fair which is a great opportunity to talk face to face with potential employers. Come check them out, and do your own comparison. All companies do not offer the same things but there is bound to be a company that fulfills most if not all your requirements. I will be at the Pro-Trucker/Drivers Choice booth and I hope to see you at the show.
In typical political fashion, the Ontario Government has promised over $25 billion in new highways and upgrades to existing highway infrastructure over the next ten years. Unfortunately, this announcement comes just before the June election, putting it under the guise of election promises which immediately nullifies it. Politicians have a long history of making promises they have no intention, or no reasonable chance of keeping.
Some are kept but some are only worked on enough make announcements and cut ribbons then they are swept under the rug never to be heard of again - until the next election. But many are randomly thrown out there with the sole purpose of targeting a specific group to influence their vote. Legalizing marijuana is an example of a promise supported by most Canadians in all polls, and it was kept. Personally, I find it extremely disturbing to see how little it takes for a part-time snowboarding high school drama teacher to become the Prime Minister of Canada. I do not mean to demean the profession, and I truly believe that Trudeau might have gotten hired full-time if he had stuck with it.
Shortening medical wait times and increasing pensions are excellent examples of promises directed at Canadians in need that were not kept. In 2015 leading up to the Federal Election, Justin Trudeau repeatedly criticized the Conservative party's policy of fighting our veterans in court, promising to end the practice if elected. Trudeau's statement of "They are asking for more than we can give them at this time" still burns in the memory of every one of our veterans. His also promised that first responders and veterans with PTSD would get the support they need. They still have wait times of over two years for this desperately needed help. The result of this unfulfilled promise, and moral obligation, has been the suicide of many good people waiting for that promise to be kept.
Politicians are great ones for jumping on the hot topic of the day. Politicians across the country indignantly jumped on the Humboldt tragedy, outraged that nothing had been done earlier to prevent it from happening. Yet they only have to look as far as their own mirror to find those responsible for letting it exist through every political administration, both federally and provincially, for many years. Then their band-aid fix of MELT programs, was only to appease the ignorant voting public and did little to address the root of the problem.
So what is the answer to the problems of over-regulation, low wages, high fuel costs, rip-off fly-by-night companies, poor to non-existent parking and rest stops, inadequate training, and a multitude of other grievances? In my opinion, as I have often said, it is trade certification. For the nay-sayers - of course it would have to consider a fair system of grandfathering in existing drivers. This could easily be done with license endorsements. But more importantly, it would ensure that all new drivers are fully qualified and would improve wages and rates for everyone. Trade certification would also offer another viable option to young Canadians looking for a respected certified career. No more $15 and hour fly by night outfits who keep rates down for the career professionals. Back-hauls are straight hauls for someone.
Without change, all current grievances will continue to be ignored. Bitching and complaining on social media and at truck stops does absolutely nothing towards change. Remember that old saying about the definition of insanity? Do you really want to continue to leave it up to the goodness of a politician's heart to make real changes to our industry? I have always said that next to pensioners, truck drivers are the largest voting block in Canada. It is cut and dried each politician is either for or against you. Get a commitment from yours. If you are looking to better your industry then it is time to fish or cut bait or, as they say, get off that proverbial pot.
Be safe out there and I hope to see you at the show.