Ottawa, Ontario – Transport Canada, along with the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), has announced the winners of the 2008 Canadian Transportation Awards, recognizing leadership, excellence and achievement in the transportation sector.

The four awards are Transportation Person of the Year, Award of Excellence, Award of Achievement and Award of Academic Merit. “This year’s four award winners have clearly distinguished themselves by their significant contributions to various aspects of transportation, ranging from sustainability to road safety,” said John Law, president of TAC. “Their efforts in the ever-evolving field of transportation so critical to this country’s history and current success are richly deserving of the recognition afforded by TAC’s award program and the appreciation of all Canadians.”

The Transportation Person of the Year award went to Ron Harmer of Victoria, British Columbia, for his leadership role in advancing the adoption of cleaner fuels and sustainable transportation energy technologies. Beginning in 2001, as vice-president of BC Transit, he led the organization in promoting hydrogen and fuel cell technology. He introduced Canada’s first hybrid-electric buses and a demonstration hydrogen fuel cell car in B.C., and was instrumental in the creation of the Hydrogen Bus Alliance, an international group of cities and regions working to create demand for hydrogen buses.

The Award of Excellence went to Georges O. Gratton of Montreal, who was honoured for his significant contributions to the urban transit field. Gratton was formerly executive director of the Société de transport de l’Outaouais, where he oversaw the development of a rapid bus transit system and various measures to increase efficiency or decrease operating costs.

The Award of Achievement went to Spencer McDonald of Surrey, B.C., for his advocacy of road safety. In 2001 he formed Thinking Driver, which delivers programs to hundreds of drivers annually.

The Award of Academic Merit went to Albert Stevens, professor emeritus at the University of New Brunswick, for his career as a professor of civil engineering specializing in transportation. He founded the Transportation Group in 1967, which has been instrumental in shaping transportation professionals in Atlantic Canada and beyond.

The awards were presented at the closing banquet of TAC’s annual conference in Toronto.

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