Ontario Trucking Association

Ontario Trucking Association

March 22, 2007 17:32 ET

Ontario Trucking Association: Ontario Budget Contains Tax Credit for Truck Driver Apprenticeship Program, $1.7 Billion for Highway Infrastructure

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 22, 2007) - The Ontario Trucking Association welcomed the announcement in today's Ontario budget that carriers participating in the voluntary truck driver apprenticeship will now be eligible for a refundable Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit. According to OTA president, David Bradley, this is, "A big step forward for the apprenticeship program that a number of OTA members and the Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities, Chris Bentley worked so hard on to bring to fruition. The tax credit will definitely encourage more carriers to participate in the program and I'm very glad that the government recognizes the importance of providing new truck drivers with better training."

Under the year and a half old program, participating carriers provide mentoring services to new drivers and a prescribed regime of progressive skills development. Since 2005 the program has been growing but the industry was awaiting the approval of the program for the tax credit which is for up to $5,000 per apprenticeship. The Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities was responsible for recognizing the program, but Ministry of Finance approval was required before participating carriers could be eligible for the tax credit. OTA had been lobbying the Ministry of Finance for inclusion of truck drivers in the tax credit regulations, successfully culminating in today's budget announcement.

On the infrastructure side, the budget contained a significant commitment of $1.7 billion in construction on the provincial highway system. Bradley congratulated the government on making such a major investment in Ontario's transportation system saying, "While public transit has been attracting a lot of headlines, its worth noting that the government continues to make significant investments in our highway system. This is exactly the kind of balanced growth in transportation infrastructure we advocate and I want to congratulate both the Minister of Transportation, Donna Cansfield and the Minister of Finance, Greg Sorbara, for making highway system expansion a priority."

Major Highway projects slated for next year include:

- Extending Highway 404 by 13 km northwards.

- Adding new high occupancy vehicle lanes on sections of Highways 400 and 427.

- Widening Highway 401 through Kingston, Highway 10 in Caledon, and Highway 417 in Ottawa.

- Improving Highway 17 between Thunder Bay and Kenora.

- Proceeding with a new alignment of Highway 26 between Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.

OTA had hoped to see a process put in place to examine the provincial taxation of business inputs (i.e., trucking equipment) in the industry. "Our day will come on that," said Bradley.

Contact Information

  • Rebecka Torn
    Manager, Communications, Ontario Trucking Association
    Director, Communications, Canadian Trucking Alliance
    (416) 249-7401 x 224 or Cell: (403) 993-6666
    1-866-713-4188 (FAX)
    Website: www.ontruck.org or www.cantruck.com