Protest at Fortin’s office Truckers say “NO” to de-regulation

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A convoy of trucks parked in front of Andre Fortin’s office to protest the government’s plan to de-regulate a portion of the trucking industry.

Allyson Beauregard



A convoy of trucks parked in front of Andre Fortin’s office to protest the government’s plan to de-regulate a portion of the trucking industry.

Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – A convoy of truckers gathered in front of Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin’s office, May 9, to protest the government’s plan to de-regulate the trucking industry and abolish regional posts like the Transporteurs en vrac du Compte du Pontiac Inc. (TCP), who are dispatchers for government trucking contracts. Similar protests took place across the province.
As it stands, when government contracts are issued – the bridge repair
in Campbell’s Bay, the intersection in Mansfield, and others using tax dollars – the winning contractor is given the responsibility to choose 50% of the trucks required to complete the job, while regional posts like the TCP distribute the other 50% of the work to companies within their district.
“If 20 trucks are required, we get to choose 10 of them. We try and divide the work evenly,” said Fern Dagenais, the TCP Director General, who noted the Pontiac
post, which covers from Rapides-des-Joachims to Terry Fox Road near Aylmer, is made up of 44 members. In the past, a 75-25 formula existed where the TCP was responsible for awarding 75% of the work, but it was replaced by the current 50-50 method. “We’ve already taken a cut,” said one truck driver.
“We are just asking for things to stay the same,” said trucking company owner Maurice Morin. The TCP was previously awarded contracts for five years, with the current contract ending in March 2017. The government has proposed extending the contract for an additional year (2017-2018), but according to Morin and other truckers, it’s not enough. “We need a permanent commitment from the government,” added Morin. 
According to Morin, de-regulation will harm local trucking businesses. “Big companies will be able to come in and take all of the work,” he said. “If de-
regulation takes place, it will simply be a free for all,” added Dagenais. Regulated wages are also at risk since de-regulation will force companies to compete for contracts. “The rates are in place so we can survive,” added Denis Morin, another trucker.
Fortin addressed those present by asking questions to better understand the issue and indicated that he will take the appropriate steps to have their message heard and to address their concerns.